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about 2 hours ago

NB I downloaded and OCRd.



"26 August 2016
Informatorul Industriei și al Comerțului Bucovinean 1935 • Yellow Pages for Bukovina 1935


http://hauster.de/data/YellowPages1935.pdf

Source: Adrian's Magnificent Chaos En Route to Suceava"

about 6 hours ago

"
Thursday, September 27, 2007
REVIEW OF NADIA ABU EL-HAJ, FACTS ON THE GROUND: Archaeological Practice and Terriorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001)

I've been following the media coverage of this book for some time, and have even been selectively quoted on it. A couple of people have encouraged me to comment on it, so now that I've read it I may as well post some thoughts. Much that has occurred to me as I read it has already been said elsewhere, but I will try not to be too repetitive. For background, see here and follow the links back.

Abu El-Haj outlines her basic assumptions in a number of places in the book, starting with the first chapter. She offers a post-structuralist and post-colonial critique of archaeology, in which facts are determined contextually by class and other interests. Reality is largely conditioned by what we do in and to it and not by what we think. Archaeology has a peculiar authority since it tends to be taken as providing given facts. In Israel, archaeology emerged as a principal site for the reenactment of Jewish presence with the objective of colonizing Palestine to turn it into Eretz Yisrael (pp. 9, 11, 13,18, 21). Israeli archaeologists do not recognize their own complicity in this "settlement project," whether or not they support it (p. 236). In response to these issues she advocates a "post-Zionist archaeology." And she concludes, with Edward Said, that objective knowledge and its supposed universalism is "Eurocentric in the extreme" and these disciplines (the case in question being Israeli archaeology) gelled within particular colonial contexts (p. 278).

I am paraphrasing here, but I believe accurately. On the one hand, the point is well taken that archaeology, especially when we attempt to correlate it with ancient texts, requires a good deal of interpretation and cannot be regarded as a body of raw, objective facts. But on the other hand, I would say that her philosophical framework crosses the line into anti-realism, a position for which I have little sympathy.

Much of the book deals with matters outside my expertise and on which I have no comment. These include, for example, the Ordinance Survey of Western Palestine and the excavation work of Sir Flinders Petrie in Palestine (chapter 2); the first Yedia'at Ha'aretz conference in 1943 (chapter 3); the early projects of the Jewish Palestine Exploration Society and the Governmental Names Committee to recover or assign Hebrew names to geographical locations in Palestine (chapter 4); and various museums in Jerusalem (chapter 8). I leave these matters to others who have expertise on them. I will focus my comments on matters about which I do know something, along with some more general observations on method and presentation.

Chapter 5, "Positive Facts of Nationhood," looks at the archaeological work of Yigael Yadin (who advocated a "violent conquest" model for ancient Israelite origins) and Yohanan Aharoni (who held to a "peaceful infiltration" model), and offers a facile psychologizing of both men (Yadin was a military leader and Aharoni was much involved in the Kibbutz movement). Abu El-Haj then argues that their work traced the record by means of archaeology and the Bible, but was heavily influenced by their nationalism. Despite their infamous falling out, they agreed much more than they disagreed and ultimately the argument was over historical details, with the agreed terms of the argument involving texts, dates, and pots. In particular, the data from Hazor Area A (excavated by Yadin) was furnished by the texts with a potential narrative that could not have been gotten from the excavated remains themselves. She says that the earliest of these texts "were composed in the Hellenistic period" (p. 123), an extreme late dating that would be rejected by almost all specialists. No hint of the extremity of this view is given in her discussion. She seems to have doubts about the validity of speaking of 'Israelite" pottery, although she does not (and as far as I know does not have the training to) argue for another interpretation.

I think it is fair to say that the interpretation of remains found at places like Hazor in light of the biblical texts produced an apparently empirical historical narrative of Israelite origins that had a certain Israeli nationalist propaganda value. It is also fair to say that this historical narrative now at best requires extensive rethinking and at worst was simply wrong. This is a legitimate cautionary tale about the use of archaeology for political purposes.

That said, two points are worth adding. The first is that much of the critique of these earlier archaeological reconstructions has come from Israeli archaeologists. This is no nationalist orthodoxy twisting the outcome of the archaeology of the region. The second point is that the fundamental scientific integrity of Israeli archaeologists in following standard methods and subjecting their work to rigorous peer scrutiny forms the starkest contrast to the ahistorical propaganda disseminated by the Palestinian leadership at all levels and by their supporters in the Arab world and beyond. The obvious example is the routine denial that a Jewish Temple ever stood on the Temple Mount (to pick just a few examples, see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here -- and note my responses here and here). The Israeli archaeologists are at least trying, even though they sometimes get it wrong and even though their biases may sometimes color their conclusions.

Chapter 6, "Excavating Jerusalem," contains the now infamous accusation that David Ussishkin's excavation at Jezreel used bulldozers. (For his response, see here). Without going into that again for the moment, I note as an aside her statement in the same context on the same page (148):

Among Palestinian officials at the Haram al-Sharif [i.e., the Temple Mount - JRD] and the Awqaf as well as many other archaeologists--Palestinian and European or American (trained)--the use of bulldozers has become the ultimate sign of "bad science" and of nationalist politics guiding research agendas. Critics situate this practice squarely within (a specific understanding of) the politics of a nationalist tradition of archaeological research.

Current events on the Temple Mount involving excavation by bulldozer cast some serious doubt on the commitment of the Palestinian officials and the Awqaf to this principle, although, to be fair, the IAA doesn't come out looking all that well either.

As has already been noted by Alan Segal, Abu El-Haj makes the odd claim on p. 132 that the Hebrew word bayit, "house," is a secularizing term that avoids the term "temple." This is a striking error, since anyone with a basic grasp of either Biblical or Modern Hebrew would be well aware that in contexts relating to the Temple, bayit is the word one would normally use.

Abu El-Haj has been criticized quite a lot for floating the idea a couple of times (pp. 144-46, plus pp. 212-13 in chapter 8) that ash layers excavated in Jerusalem which clearly date around 70 CE need not be from the Roman destruction of the city, but could come from other causes including conflicts among Jewish groups as noted by Josephus. I think this is actually interesting out-of-the-box thinking of the type that can be quite useful for helping us to question our assumptions and ask new questions of our data. But here she is just using the suggestion for its propaganda value (or, as she could perhaps legitimately argue, its counter-propaganda value), rather than developing it as a serious attempt to explain the excavation evidence. Her additional speculation that the fire could have been accidental is theoretically possible, but strains credulity. Her point is valid that we should not interpret the archaeological remains in light of the texts and then simplistically claim those remains as verification of the texts. But, that granted, we must also not fall into a hyper-skepticism that keeps us from analyzing all our evidence and formulating hypotheses based on the balance of probability.

In chapter 8, "Historical Legacies," she shows that tour guides can be good or bad, not just in terms of perspective and nuance, but even in terms of getting basic facts right. But this hardly applies only to Israeli tour guides. Museum displays and films sometimes also have problems (see, e.g., this display in the Oriental Institute), and the claim in the Burnt House Museum film that the ash layer can be dated to a particular day is indeed ridiculous, as Abu El-Haj indicates. Josephus gives this date for the destruction of the Upper City of Jerusalem and it appears that, once the connection between that ash layer and that destruction was made, someone inferred the date based on his comment. If the transcription of the film's sound track is accurate, the script-writer clearly misunderstood the process of inference.

Two other specific passages in the book struck me as also requiring comment. Chapter 9, "Archaeology and Its Aftermath," looks at Israeli archaeology in relation to both Palestinians and Ultra-Orthodox Jews. While discussing the problem of looting in an anti-colonial politicial context Abu El-Haj writes (p. 255):

Although never argued by [Palestinian archaeologist Nazmi] Ju'beh, looting could well be analyzed as a form of resistance to the Israeli state and an archaeological project, understood by many Palestinians, to stand at the very heart of Zionist historical claims to the land. In James Scott's words, looting is perhaps "a weapon of the weak."

I can't think of any other way to read this than as a -- granted, tentatively, but still unambiguously phrased -- political justification of the looting of archaeological sites. I think this is one of the most disturbing passages in the book and I am surprised not to have encountered any other comments on it so far.

The other passage is on the last pages (280-81) of chapter 10, "Conclusions."

In producing the material signs of national history that became visible and were witnessed across the contemporary landscape, archaeology repeatedly remade the colony into an ever-expanding national terrain. It substantiated the nation in history and produced Eretz Yisrael as the national home. It is within the context of that distinctive history of archaeological practice and settler nationhood that one can understand why it was that "thousands of Palestinians stormed the site" of Joseph's Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus, looting it and setting it alight during the renewed intifada that rocked Palestine and Israel in the fall of 2000 ... Joseph's tomb was not destroyed simply because of its status as a Jewish religious shrine. The symbolic resonance of its destruction reaches far deeper than that. It needs to be understood in relation to a colonial-national history in which modern political rights have been substantiated in and expanded through the material signs of historic presence. In destroying the tomb, Palestinian demonstrators eradicated one "fact on the ground."

It is possible that Abu El-Haj is simply offering a explanation of the mentality behind the actions of the marauders here and perhaps we should assume this more charitable interpretation. But I was struck by the fact that there is no condemnation of the desecration of this site and it is equally possible to read the passage as a justification of the actions of the mob (especially given her quoted statement from p. 255 above). I wish she had helped us out a little more to read what she says in the more charitable light.

Now some general observations. Whatever the specific facts, the way Abu El-Haj presents her arguments sometimes fall into patterns that raise concerns.

She has been widely criticized for her use of anonymous sources, and she does cite these an awful lot. In many cases she is telling an anecdote or relating that someone expressed an opinion and it makes little difference who said it (e.g., pp. 199, 211, 212, 236, 251, 252). But other cases involve testimony about important matters and serious accusations and it does seem inappropriate that these should be anonymous. Examples are the eyewitness testimony to details of the Israeli demolition of the Maghariba Quarter (p. 165); the accusation by an archaeologist that a "right-wing colleague" "was constantly labeling Christian sites Jewish" (p. 233); an archaeologist reporting on encounters with haredim at certain archaeological digs (p. 258); archaeologists giving contrasting views of the situation regarding the haredim and archaeology (pp. 260-62, 263); the anonymous accusation concerning the use of the bulldozer at Jezreel (p. 306 n. 12); and the accusation that at an unnamed excavation bones were excavated from a Muslim cemetery and not recorded and that anonymous volunteers reported that this had also happened in the previous season (p. 318 n. 17). Note also the claim of the author that clearly non-Jewish human remains were hidden on an excavation on which she participated, but she does not not say which excavation (p. 268).

There is also some argument by insinuation. Conclusions by others are presented in such a way that we seem to be expected to assume they are wrong, but the reasons for rejecting them are never spelled out, nor are corrections and better readings of the evidence offered. These include the skeptical references to "Israelite" pottery and architecture on p. 118; to Herodian architecture on pp. 134-35; to "Israelite" Jerusalem in the late Iron Age on pp. 138-39; and references to the comments of Amnon Ben Tor and others about the logic of Jewish interest in ancient Israel and the perceived Arab lack of interest in their past on pp. 252-53. This is really a matter of tone, but the tone in these passages is unhelpful.

To conclude, Facts on the Ground makes some interesting observations about how nationalism and politics have fed into and fed off of Israeli archaeology. But these observations are offered in the context of an extreme perception of Israel as a colonial state, and I suspect that, whatever readers think of this viewpoint, the book's tendenz is so transparent that no one's mind will be changed one way or another by reading it. When it talks about things I know about, it consistently slants the presentation of the evidence according to this tendenz so that the conclusions are predictable and not very interesting. This book makes no contribution to the archaeology of ancient Palestine or what it can tell us about the history of ancient Israel. Others can decide whether the book makes a contribution in some other area.

UPDATE (15 October): More here and here. "

about 6 hours ago

" The 24 top-secret maps show, in incredible detail, the five Normandy beaches where Allied forces landed
They were prepared just over two weeks before that momentous day and were for the eyes of a select few
Mines, pill boxes, streams, and even individual houses occupied by the Nazis are depicted on the maps

By Elizabeth Roberts For Mailonline

Published: 07:10 EST, 30 August 2016 | Updated: 12:36 EST, 30 August 2016

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Maps for the D-Day invasion have come to light 72 years later, showing the incredible detail the Allies went to to ensure victory.

The 24 original maps were drawn up just two weeks before the momentous operation and gave the military commanders the most contemporary reports of the state of the five Normandy beaches.

The charts, marked 'Top Secret', were so detailed they contained almost the exact number and positions of mines, pill boxes and other defence works the Germans had laid as part of Hitler's massive coastal defence structure, the Atlantic Wall.

Scroll down for video
This detailed map shows Omaha beach in the American sector - where most of the casualties on D-Day occurred. It's one of 24 original maps drawn up just two weeks before the momentous Allied operation, which gave the military commanders the most up-to-date reports of the state of the five Normandy beaches
+7

This detailed map shows Omaha beach in the American sector - where most of the casualties on D-Day occurred. It's one of 24 original maps drawn up just two weeks before the momentous Allied operation, which gave the military commanders the most up-to-date reports of the state of the five Normandy beaches
The maps were top secret, and were not to be carried in aircraft unless they crashed behind military lines
+7

The maps were top secret, and were not to be carried in aircraft unless they crashed behind military lines

Individual houses along the coast that had been fortified and occupied by the Germans were also highlighted.

The maps cover the areas of Normandy where Allied paratroopers dropped a few hours before the beach landings. Not only were roads, bridges and streams marked but even their length and width were noted.

One of the maps covers 'Dog' section for Omaha Beach, which featured in the Steven Spielberg film Saving Private Ryan.

The 1:25,000 or 2.5ins to 1 mile scale maps were colour coded with blue for comfirmed enemy positions, purple for unconfirmed and orange for amended positions.

Only a limited number of top military figures know about the planned invasion and were shown the maps prepared a couple of weeks in advance of it commencing
+7

Only a limited number of top military figures know about the planned invasion and were shown the maps prepared a couple of weeks in advance of it commencing
Only members of the BIGOT (British Invasion of German Occupied Territory) saw the maps, dated May 20 1944. The D-Day landings took place just over a fortnight later, on June 6
+7

Only members of the BIGOT (British Invasion of German Occupied Territory) saw the maps, dated May 20 1944. The D-Day landings took place just over a fortnight later, on June 6

The maps, which measure 3ft by 2.5ft when spread out, were dated May 20 1944, when the date and location for the Allied invasion of Europe was still only known by a select few.

Indeed, they were for members of the 'BIGOT' list only - the limited number of military top brass who knew about the plans for Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy which commenced with the D-Day landings on June 6 1944.
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BIGOT stood for the British Invasion of German Occupied Territory. The largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the liberation of German-occupied northwestern Europe from Nazi control.

An instruction along the top told the holder the maps were not to be carried in operational aircraft in case it crashed behind enemy lines.

The documents were the culmination of two years of work to gather intelligence and photographs of the Normandy coast.

The operation involved a bogus BBC competition for British holidaymakers to send in their photographs of the French seaside and Allied divers taking panoramic snaps of the beaches under the noses of the Germans.
A bogus BBC competition and covert diving operations were among the sources of photographs that helped the map-makers compile the incredibly detailed documents which even show where trees have been felled and hedges cleared
+7

A bogus BBC competition and covert diving operations were among the sources of photographs that helped the map-makers compile the incredibly detailed documents which even show where trees have been felled and hedges cleared
The charts, marked 'Top Secret', were so detailed they contained almost the exact number and positions of mines, pill boxes and other defence works the Germans had laid as part of Hitler's Atlantic Wall
+7

The charts, marked 'Top Secret', were so detailed they contained almost the exact number and positions of mines, pill boxes and other defence works the Germans had laid as part of Hitler's Atlantic Wall

The maps have emerged now after an unknown dealer bought them from a descendant of a senior military officer who was involved in Operation Overlord.

They are being sold in eight separate lots by C&T Auctioneers of Ashford, Kent.

Tim Harper, of C&T Auctioneers, believes the maps were kept by a senior Allied military leader after the historic operation.

He said: 'These were the last printed maps before D-Day. They are incredibly detailed and gave the main military leaders vital information on the presence of defences, machine gun posts, pill boxes and trenches.

'The maps are dated May 19 and D-Day was put back once or twice before it was launched on June 6, 1944.

'There are no other maps that are as up-to-date as these that we know of.
The maps are being sold in eight separate lots by C&T Auctioneers of Ashford, Kent, on September 7 after an unknown dealer bought them from the descendant of a senior Allied military leader
+7

The maps are being sold in eight separate lots by C&T Auctioneers of Ashford, Kent, on September 7 after an unknown dealer bought them from the descendant of a senior Allied military leader

Mr Harper added: 'They are rare. Every now and again one might pop up from the family of a senior officer but to get so many of them in one go is quite something.

'They are in very good condition. Very few have survived and this is the largest single grouping we have seen.'

The maps include Gold Beach between Colleville and Arromanche, Sword Beach between St Aubin and La Breche, 'bloody' Omaha Beach at St Pierre-Du-Mont and St Marie-Du-Mont at Utah Beach.

They are being sold on September 7 and expected to fetch £2,800. "

about 7 hours ago

" by Niram Ferretti
L'Informale (Italy)
August 30, 2016
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Daniel Pipes is today one of the most alert observers of the Middle East. From the history of Medieval Islam, he has shifted to modern and contemporary Islam upon which he has concentrated a large part of his focus as a scholar and historian, as well as son of another historian, Richard Pipes, the great Harvard specialist of Soviet Russia history.

Founder and president of the Middle East Forum he has written numerous books and countless articles on the subject of Islamism, Islamic history and jihadism. Among them, In the Path of God: Islam and Political power (1983), The Long Shadow: Culture and Politics in the Middle East (1999), and Militant Islam Reaches America (2002).

L'Informale: Dr. Pipes, thank you for granting this interview. I would like to start with a question about the connection between Islamic terrorism and Islam. We have been told repeatedly that the roots of Islamic terrorism are not to be found in the religion but in unemployment, frustration, nationalism, and (that favored explanation) in reaction to Western foreign policy, specifically the U.S. foreign policy. Please comment on this.

Daniel Pipes: The first explanation – about unemployment – is a silly, discredited idea that reflects a Marxist influence which insists that economic interests drive everything; as they say, "You are what you eat." I disagree. Yes, material concerns have great importance but ideas drive humans more. In other words, "You are what you think." To take a single example, it is impossible to argue that Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel killed 86 holiday-goers on the beach of Cannes, France, for economic reasons.

The second – about Western policy – is a convenient excuse. Yes, the West has a history of intruding around the world. But why is this violent response disproportionately among Muslims? Perhaps it has something to do with being Muslim?

Indeed, Islam is – no surprise – the key to political violence carried out in the name of Islam by Muslims. That's almost true by definition.

L'Informale: According to Samuel P. Huntington, Islam and the West are inevitably in conflict due to a deep and irreducible clash of values. Do you subscribe to this vision?

Daniel Pipes: Huntington was a brilliant scholar who in this case took an interesting idea too far. Yes, civilizational differences exist and have great importance. No, political conflicts and wars have less to do with these differences than with ideology and personal ambition. Tracing civilizational relations makes for a great seminar topic but should not be taken seriously by voters or policymakers.

L'Informale: What are, according to you, the main causes of the increased conflict between Islam and the West that has occurred specifically in the late twentieth century?

Benito Mussolini of Italy (r. 1922-43) had a major role in the evolution of Islamism.
Daniel Pipes: Muslims tried emulating the liberal West (Great Britain and France primarily) in the era 1800-1920 to seek the sources of power and wealth without success; then they emulated the illiberal West (Italy, Russia, and Germany) between 1920 and 1980, and that also failed. In the past forty years, they have turned back to their own history. This too is failing. I often wonder what comes next; perhaps a return to liberalism, this time with better results? Or to illiberalism?

L'Informale: Between 1980 and 1995 - in other words, well before the Iraq invasion of 2003 - the United States had engaged in seventeen military operations in the Middle East, all of them directed towards Muslims; however, from President Clinton to President Obama, we have always heard that the West does not have a problem with Islam but only with extremists. Isn't this narrative wearing thin?

Daniel Pipes: I disagree with your premise. The U.S. government has intervened many times on behalf of Muslims, such as the Albanians, Bosnians, Iraqis, Kuwaitis, Saudis, Somalis, and Syrians. Further, millions of Muslims have been welcomed to the United States, some even brought over at taxpayer expense.

I also disagree with your "wearing thin" comment. It's been U.S. policy since 1992 to oppose not Islamism in general but only violent forms of Islamism. This policy has been largely followed in practice.

L'Informale: "For almost a thousand years, from the first Moorish landing in Spain to the second Turkish siege of Vienna, Europe was under constant threat from Islam", writes Bernard Lewis. Is the present Islamic resurgence in continuity with the past or a different phenomenon resulting from different causes?

Daniel Pipes: I see mainly continuity. The European-Muslim confrontation is possibly the longest and most vicious in human history, comparable to lions and hyenas. It has gone through many changes, with Muslims controlling substantial parts of Europe at times and Europeans ruling the great majority of Muslims just a century ago. This confrontation took a new turn with the German-Turkish labor agreement of 1961 and the American immigration reform of 1965.

The arrival in Germany of Turkish workers in the 1960s heralded a massive movement of Muslims to Europe.

L'Informale: According to the German political scientist, Matthias Kuntzel, "The starting point of Islamism is the new interpretation of jihad, exposed with uncompromising militancy by Hassan al Banna, the first to preach it as a holy war in modern times". Do you agree that the Muslim Brotherhood has been the main agency for the resurgence of jihadism in modern Islam?

Daniel Pipes: No, I see it as only one of several important Islamist movements. The most important is the Wahhabi (or Salafi) doctrine espoused by the Saudi government with all its vast resources, then the Khomeinist line of the Islamic Republic of Iran, then the Muslim Brotherhood, then the Deobandi school in India.

L'Informale: Ayaan Hirsi Ali in her latest book, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, places Muslims into three categories: The Mecca Muslims, the largest majority who represent the more tolerant side of religion; the Medina Muslims, or the jihadist wing; and the Modifying Muslims, the dissidents and reformists who challenge religious dogma. Do you think this broad scheme is useful?

Daniel Pipes: Yes, and it generally corresponds to the triad of responses to modernity that I offered in my 1983 book, In the Path of God, which I called reformists, Islamists, and secularists.

L'Informale: In a recent interview I did with Israeli historian Benny Morris, he was very clear in emphasizing that Arab rejectionism has always been from the start the main obstacle to a resolution to the Israeli-Arab conflict. If Morris is right, then every notion of a possible peace is completely delusional. Is this also your point of view?

Daniel Pipes: I agree about Arab rejectionism being the cause of the conflict, noting that it has taken four main forms over the past century: Pan-Syrianism, Pan-Arabism, Palestinianism, and Islamism. But I disagree that peace is delusional; were Israel and its allies tough enough, deterrence could work and the conflict would likely conclude.

L'Informale: Of all countries in the world, Israel is the most vilified; just look at the UN resolutions against it from 1967 onwards compared to those against any other state. What are the main causes for this state of affairs?

Daniel Pipes: I count four: Nazi influence; Soviet influence; antisemitism; and the large number of Arab and Muslim UN member states.

L'Informale: With the ongoing civil war in Syria, Iran heading towards nuclear weapons, and Russia's growing power in the Middle East, America seems increasingly irrelevant to the region. What do you foresee?

Daniel Pipes: Don't count the United States out. I foresee the region going through even worse crises and many parties turning to the United States to take on a larger role, as is already happening in East Asia.

The original Italian-language version of this interview, "Il confronto più perdurante ed aggressive," is available at www.linformale.eu/3877-2/."

about 7 hours ago

"BBC WS showcases ahistorical political art unchallenged

The August 28th edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘The Cultural Frontline’ included an interview (from 07:04 here) with British street artist Joy Gilleard. A specific edited segment of that interview was also separately promoted on Twitter. WS St Pauls clip

“Street artist CBLOXX was commissioned to paint a mural for London’s St Paul’s Cathedral and she decided to paint the Virgin Mary as a Palestinian refugee. Little did she know it would end up being sent to the Queen.”

During the interview listeners heard Gilleard talking about the background to the painting:

“Some of the topics that I’m painting about are quite specific. So the very first one that I did was in St Paul’s Cathedral and they wanted me to do a painting of the Virgin Mary. So I decided that it would be a good idea to go and paint a Palestinian woman as the Virgin Mary – a refugee. It was just to show a different angle on something and it just seemed like a really nice link to the fact that there’s so many people fleeing Palestine, Syria…”

Given the fact that portrayal of Jesus as a Palestinian is one of the tactics long employed by anti-Israel campaigners attempting to negate and erase Jewish history, one might have thought that the programme’s presenter Sahar Zand would have taken the trouble to make listeners aware of the ahistorical politics behind the portrayal of the Virgin Mary as a Palestinian – if only for the sake of editorial standards of accuracy and impartiality.

However, the representative of a media organisation which earlier this year spent a significant amount of airtime discussing the alleged cultural appropriation of a pop star’s hair style, stayed silent. "

about 8 hours ago

"Palestinians often hear from their leaders that a Muslim holy site in Jerusalem, al-Aksa mosque, is in danger of collapse – and the Jews are to blame. Whether printed in cartoons, preached in mosques or taught in schools, the lie is accepted as common knowledge across the Arab world. Millions of Muslims accept it as truth. The message is clear: Jews seek to expel the Arabs from Jerusalem.

This lie is nothing new. For the past century, Palestinian leaders have told the “Al-Aksa is in danger” lie in order to incite their people to attack Jews. It is important to expose and counter this fabrication because it remains a spark that can lead to bloodshed.

Nadav Shragai, a veteran journalist and Jerusalem expert, has written the authoritative study on the history of the lie. His work is presented on this site, chapter by chapter. It is also available in PDF or ebook format.

Below are five facts that you should know about al-Aksa:
1. Political cartoons in major newspapers throughout the Arab world accuse Israel of seeking to undermine and destroy the Dome of the Rock and al-Aksa Mosque.

A sample of cartoons published in Arab newspapers. Clockwise from top-left: Ad-Dustur (Jordan), Ar-Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Al Hayat (PA), Falestin (Hamas)

A sample of cartoons published in Arab newspapers. Clockwise from top-left: Ad-Dustur (Jordan), Ar-Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Al Hayat (PA), Falestin (Hamas)
2. In fact, Muslim construction in an area under the mosques, known as Solomon’s Stables, endangers the foundation and destroys archaeological treasures.

Left: In 1999, Muslim religious authorities converted Solomon's Stables into a mosque. An enormous pit dug in the soil of the Temple Mount caused irreversible archaeological damage. (courtesy of Dan Bahat) Right: Part of the soil containing archaeological findings that the Muslim religious authority removed from the large excavation at Solomon's Stables. (courtesy of the City of David, Ancient Jerusalem archive)

Left: In 1999, Muslim religious authorities converted Solomon’s Stables into a mosque. An enormous pit dug in the soil of the Temple Mount caused irreversible archaeological damage. (courtesy of Dan Bahat) Right: Part of the soil containing archaeological findings that the Muslim religious authority removed from the large excavation at Solomon’s Stables. (courtesy of the City of David, Ancient Jerusalem archive)
3. For the past century, Palestinian leaders have denied the existence of a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and accused Israel of planning attacks on the mosques.

Left to right: The mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, father of the “Al-Aksa is in danger” libel (Wiki Commons); Yasser Arafat denied the existence of a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount (AP); Sheikh Reid Salah, a leading Israeli Islamist, promised to redeem Al-Aksa “in fire and blood.”

Left to right: The mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, father of the “Al-Aksa is in danger” libel (Wiki Commons); Yasser Arafat denied the existence of a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount (AP); Sheikh Reid Salah, a leading Israeli Islamist, promised to redeem Al-Aksa “in fire and blood.”
4. The archaeological digs that Israel has conducted over the years near the Temple Mount, far from the mosques, are a laudable scientific and cultural endeavor.

Left: Volunteers uncover the hidden treasures of Jerusalem at the foot of the Southern Wall, immediately after the Six-Day War. (Fritz Cohen, GPO) Right: Arab workers at the excavations of the Southern Wall. (Ya'acov Sa'ar, GPO)

Left: Volunteers uncover the hidden treasures of Jerusalem at the foot of the Southern Wall, immediately after the Six-Day War. (Fritz Cohen, GPO) Right: Arab workers at the excavations of the Southern Wall. (Ya’acov Sa’ar, GPO)
5. Since liberating Jerusalem in 1967 from Jordanian occupation, Israel has protected religious sites of all faiths and ensured freedom of worship for all peoples.

The Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall Plaza (Wiki Commons)

The Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall Plaza (Wiki Commons)"

about 8 hours ago

"Netanyahu accuses body of ‘rewriting a basic part of human history’; decision says Israel ‘planting Jewish fake graves’ on site
By Times of Israel staff April 16, 2016, 11:55 pm 43

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View of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, September 29, 2015 (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
View of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, September 29, 2015 (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu harshly criticized a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) resolution from last week in which Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall area in Jerusalem’s Old City are wholly ignored.

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The resolution refers to Israel as the “occupying power” at every mention and uses the Arabic al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram al-Sharif without ever calling it the Temple Mount, as it is known to Jews. The text does refer to the Western Wall Plaza but places it in quotation marks, after using the Arabic Al-Buraq Plaza.

“This is yet another absurd UN decision,” Netanyahu said Saturday. “UNESCO ignores the unique historic connection of Judaism to the Temple Mount, where the two temples stood for a thousand years and to which every Jew in the world has prayed for thousands of years. The UN is rewriting a basic part of human history and has again proven that there is no low to which it will not stoop.”

The resolution accuses Israel of “planting Jewish fake graves in other spaces of the Muslim cemeteries” and of “the continued conversion of many Islamic and Byzantine remains into the so-called Jewish ritual baths or into Jewish prayer places.”

It also blasts recently approved plans to build an egalitarian prayer service space near Robinson’s Arch and “restriction of access” to the site during Muslim holidays.

Jews consider the complex, formerly the site of the two temples, to be Judaism’s holiest site. Muslims regard the compound — which today houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock — as the third-holiest site in Islam.

While Jewish visitors are allowed to enter the site, Jewish worship is banned under arrangements instituted by Israel when it captured the area from Jordan in the 1967 war.

The site has been the focal point of violence wracking Israel and the Palestinian territories — including dozens of Palestinian stabbing attacks on Israelis — over the past several months, amid claims by Palestinian leaders that Israel plans to change the status quo on the Temple Mount. Israel has vehemently denied those charges.
File: Jewish worshipers draped in prayer shawls performing the annual Priestly Blessing during Sukkot at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, Sept. 30, 2015. (Gil Cohen/AFP/Getty Images/via JTA)

File: Jewish worshipers draped in prayer shawls performing the annual Priestly Blessing during Sukkot at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, Sept. 30, 2015. (Gil Cohen/AFP/Getty Images/via JTA)

Other condemnations of Israel brought forth in the resolution include the Jewish state’s blockade on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip — which came after the Palestinian terrorist organization in 2007 ousted the PA from power in the enclave — as well as Israel’s control over the Tomb of the Patriarchs compound in Hebron and the Rachel’s Tomb compound in Bethlehem.

“[UNESCO] strongly deplores the continuous Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, which harmfully affects the free and sustained movement of personnel and humanitarian relief items as well as the intolerable number of casualties among Palestinian children, the attacks on schools and other educational and cultural facilities and the denial of access to education, and requests Israel, the occupying Power, to immediately ease this blockade,” the resolution states.

“[The Executive Board] reaffirms that the two concerned sites located in Al-Khalīl/Hebron and in Bethlehem are an integral part of Palestine,” the resolution continues, in refrence to the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb, citing “the ongoing Israeli illegal excavations, works, construction of private roads for settlers and a separation wall inside the Old City of Al-Khalīl/Hebron, that harmfully affect the integrity of the site, and the subsequent denial of freedom of movement and freedom of access to places of worship, and urges Israel, the occupying Power, to end these violations in compliance with provisions of relevant UNESCO conventions, resolutions and decisions.”

The UNESCO resolution, authorized by the executive board’s Programme and External Relations Commission, was submitted by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan.

The resolution was approved by 33 states, including France, Russia, Spain and Sweden. Seventeen countries abstained while six voted against including the United States, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Ghana and Turkmenistan were altogether absent from the vote at the 58-member board.
Yair Lapid, leader of the Yesh Atid party speaks at the opening of the Yedioth Aharonot conference at the Jerusalem Convention Center on March 28, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Yair Lapid, leader of the Yesh Atid party speaks at the opening of the Yedioth Aharonot conference at the Jerusalem Convention Center on March 28, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid wrote a biting letter to UNESCO calling the decision “a disgraceful attempt to rewrite history and rewrite reality as part of a sustained political campaign against the State of Israel and the Jewish people.”

“UNESCO prides itself on promoting tolerance, inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue yet it passes resolutions which erases the Jewish people from the historical narrative. This latest one-sided resolution is a stain on the United Nations,” Lapid went on.

The Yesh Atid head, who sits in the opposition, said the organization must not allow itself “to be hijacked as part of the campaign to delegitimize Israel and isolate the Jewish people.”

“As we have seen with the United Nations Human Rights Council, this campaign not only strips away the ability of UN agencies to fulfill their goals but makes them a tool of modern anti-Semitism,” he said.

Last October, UNESCO dropped a Palestinian bid to declare the Western Wall a Muslim holy site amid widespread criticism but passed a resolution condemning ongoing Israeli archaeological excavations near the Temple Mount and elsewhere in the Old City."

about 8 hours ago


background: Last October, UNESCO dropped a Palestinian bid to declare the Western Wall a Muslim holy site amid widespread criticism but passed a resolution condemning ongoing Israeli archaeological excavations near the Temple Mount and elsewhere in the Old City.
http://www.timesofisrael.com/after-angering-israel-unesco-urges-respect-and-dialogue/
***

"Decision : 39 COM 7A.27
Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (C 148 rev)
The World Heritage Committee,

Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add,
Recalling the relevant provisions on the protection of cultural heritage including the four Geneva Conventions (1949), the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 1954 and its related protocols, the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970), the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of 1972, the Delhi UNESCO Recommendation of 1956 concerning excavations undertaken in occupied territories, the inscription of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls at the request of Jordan on the World Heritage List (1981) and on the List of World Heritage in Danger (1982) and related recommendations, resolutions and decisions of UNESCO,
Reaffirming that nothing in the present decision, which aims at the safeguarding of the authenticity, integrity and cultural heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem on both sides of its Walls, shall in any way affect the relevant United Nations resolutions and decisions, in particular the relevant Security Council resolutions on the legal status of Jerusalem,

I
Deeply concerned by the persistence of the Israeli illegal excavations and works conducted by the Israeli Occupation authorities and the extreme settler groups in the Old City of Jerusalem and on both sides of its Walls and the failure of Israel to cease such harmful interventions, requests Israel to timely stop all such violations, in conformity with its obligations under the provisions of related UNESCO Conventions and recommendations,
Regrets the damage caused by the Israeli security forces on 30th October 2014 to the historic Gates and windows of the Qibli Mosque inside Al-Aqsa Mosque/ Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which is a Muslim holy site of worship and an integral part of a World Heritage Site;
Expresses its deep concern over the Israeli closure and ban of the renovation of Al-Rahma Gate building, one of Al-Aqsa Mosque/ Al-Haram Al-Sharif Gates, and urges Israel to stop obstruction of the necessary restoration works, in order to fix the damage caused by the weather conditions, especially the water leakage into the rooms of the building;
Deplores the damaging effect of the Jerusalem Light rail (tram line) at few meters from the Walls of the Old City of Jerusalem which severely affects the visual integrity and the authentic character of the site and requests Israel, the Occupying Power, to restore the original character of the site in conformity with its obligations under the provisions of related UNESCO Conventions and recommendations;
Calls on Israel, the Occupying Power, to stop the obstruction of the immediate execution of all the 19 Hashemite restoration projects in and around Al-Aqsa Mosque/ Al-Haram Al-Sharif;
Also deplores the Israeli decision to approve: the plan to build a two-line cable car system in East Jerusalem, the plan to construct of the so called "Liba House" project in the Old City of Jerusalem, the demolition and new construction of the so-called Strauss Building, and the project of the elevator in the Buraq Plaza (Western Wall), the digging of a Mamluk structure beneath the Buraq Plaza (Western Wall), the excavations and construction of new levels underneath the Buraq Plaza, and urges Israel, the Occupying Power, to renounce the above mentioned projects in conformity with its obligations under the provisions of related UNESCO Conventions and recommendations particularly the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 1954 and its related protocols, as well as UNESCO Decisions particularly the World Heritage Committee decisions 26 and 38COM7A.4;
Expresses its deep concern regarding the plan for building of the so called "Kedem Center" a visitors centre near the southern wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which severely affects the visual integrity and the authentic character of the site, in addition, its placement at the northern entrance to Silwan village will cut off the Palestinian residents' direct connection to Old City and the Palestinian neighbourhoods to the north and east of the village, furthermore, most of the remains resulted from the excavation therein have been completely removed without documentation;
Expresses its concern regarding the restricting obstacles imposed by Israel, the Occupying Power, on the freedom of access that shall be provided to the competent national authorities including the Jordanian Waqf experts to safeguard the Old City of Jerusalem and both sides of its Walls;
Welcomes the relative improvement of Muslim worshippers' access into A.l-Aqsa Mosque/ Al-Haram Al-Sharif over the past seven months, regrets the Israeli extremist groups' continuous storming of Al-.Aqsa Mosque/ Al-Haram Al-Sharif, and urges Israel, the Occupying Power, to take necessary measures to prevent such provocative abuses that violate the sanctity and integrity of the Al Aqsa Mosque/ Al-Haram Al-Sharif and inflame tension on the ground;
Further regrets the damage by Israel, the Occupying Power, of the historic ceramics atop of the main gates of the Dome of the Rock and the damage of the historic gates and windows of the Qibli Mosque inside Al Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif and reaffirms, in this regard, the necessity to respect and safeguard the integrity, authenticity and cultural heritage of Al-Aqsa Mosque /Al-Haram Al-Sharif, as reflected in the Status Quo, as a Muslim Holy Site of worship and as an integral part of a World Cultural Heritage site;
Calls upon Israel to return the remains and to provide the World Heritage Centre with the relevant documentation in particular concerning the removed and found historic remains, as well as to restore the original character of the sites of all the above mentioned projects;
Requests the World Heritage Centre to continue applying the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism to the Old City of Jerusalem on both sides of its Walls, and also requests it to report every four months on this matter;
Thanks the Director-General of UNESCO and the World Heritage Centre for their efforts aimed at the Safeguarding of the Cultural Heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem on both sides of its walls and invites them to report on this matter at the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2016;

II
Recalling 176 EX/Special Plenary Meeting Decision, and all UNESCO Executive Board Decisions relating to the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem,
Affirms that the Mughrabi Ascent is an integral and inseparable part of Al Aqsa Mosque/ Al-Haram Al-Sharif,
Takes into consideration all the previous Reinforced Monitoring Reports and their addenda prepared by the World Heritage Centre as well as the State of Conservation report submitted to the World Heritage Centre by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the State of Palestine,
Expresses its growing concern regarding the continuous, intrusive demolitions and illegal excavations in and around the Mughrabi Gate Ascent, and the latest excavation works conducted at the beginning of May 2015 at the Buraq Plaza (Western Wall) of Al-Aqsa Mosque/ Al-Haram Al-Sharif, and calls on Israel, the Occupying Power, to end such violations, respect the Status Quo, and enable the Jordanian Awaqf experts as a part of the competent national authorities to maintain and safeguard the site in accordance with the relevant provisions of the UNESCO Conventions and Recommendations in particular the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 1954 and its related protocols;
Commends the Jordanian design for the restoration and preservation of the Mughrabi Ascent, submitted to the World Heritage Centre on 27 May 2011, and thanks Jordan for its cooperation in accordance with the provisions of the relevant UNESCO Conventions for the Protection of Cultural Heritage;
Urges Israel, the Occupying Power, to cooperate with Jordanian Awqaf Department, in conformity with its obligations under the provisions of the UNESCO related Conventions, to facilitate access of Jordanian Awqaf experts with their tools and material to the site in order to enable the execution of the Jordanian design of the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate;
Further expresses its deep concern regarding demolitions of Ummayad, Ottoman and Mamluk remains at the site of the Mughrabi Gate Pathway, and urges Israel, the Occupying Power, to abide by its obligations in this regard;
Thanks the Director-General for her attention to the sensitive situation of the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate and asks her to take the necessary measures in order to enable the execution of the Jordanian design of the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate;

III
Recalls the Executive Board decisions concerning the reactive monitoring mission to the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls particularly decision 196EX/Decision26.4 as well as the World Heritage Committee decisions particularly decision 34 COM 7A.20;
Deeply regrets the continuous Israeli failure to implement the Reactive Monitoring Mission and urges Israel, the Occupying Power, to accept and facilitate the implementation of that Mission;
Stresses the need of the urgent implementation of the above-mentioned UNESCO mission and, in case of non-implementation according to the above mentioned Executive Board decision 196EX/Decision26.4, decides to consider, in conformity with the provisions of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of 1972, adequate measures to have the concerned party implement it;
Requests that the report and recommendations of the mission be presented to the concerned parties prior to the next 197 EX Board session;
Thanks the Director-General for her continuous efforts to implement the above-mentioned UNESCO mission and all related UNESCO decisions and resolutions, and invites her to report on this matter at the next 40th World Heritage Committee session;

IV
Decides to retain the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Documents
Original Decision Document
Context of Decision
WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add"

about 8 hours ago

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After angering Israel, UNESCO urges ‘respect and dialogue’
UN cultural chief says Jerusalem sacred to three monotheistic religions after body adopts resolution ignoring Jewish ties to Temple Mount
By AFP and Times of Israel staff April 19, 2016, 2:39 am 28

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Palestinian girls sit in front of the Dome of the Rock in the Temple Mount compound on October 23, 2015. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
Palestinian girls sit in front of the Dome of the Rock in the Temple Mount compound on October 23, 2015. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
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The UN cultural body on Monday sought to calm anger over a resolution on a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site which saw Israel accuse it of seeking to “rewrite history” after it omitted all mention of Jewish historical ties to the area.

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UNESCO chief Irina Bokova called for “respect and dialogue” with regards to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound or Temple Mount, revered by both Muslims and Jews.

“Jerusalem is a Holy Land of the three monotheistic religions, a place of dialogue for all Jewish, Christian and Muslim people. Nothing should be undertaken to alter its integrity and authenticity,” Bokova said in a statement.

“Only respect and dialogue can build the trust we need to move forward.”
The chief of the UN's education and culture agency, Irina Bokova of Bulgaria, gestures during an interview with The Associated Press at the Global Forum for Youth, Peace and Security, in Madaba, Jordan, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. (AP/Raad Adayleh)

The chief of UNESCO, the UN’s education and culture agency, Irina Bokova of Bulgaria. (AP/Raad Adayleh)

The UNESCO executive board on Thursday adopted a resolution on “Occupied Palestine” presented by several Arab countries.

The resolution outraged Israel, which it refers to several times as the “occupying power,” while referring to the holy site by only its Arab name. The text does refer to the Western Wall Plaza but places it in quotation marks, after using the Arabic Al-Buraq Plaza.
In this Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 file photo, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man looks at the Western Wall and Dome of the Rock in the back, in Jerusalem's Old City. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File)

In this Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 file photo, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man looks at the Western Wall and Dome of the Rock in the back, in Jerusalem’s Old City. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File)

It criticizes Israel for “excavations and works” in East Jerusalem, and urges it to stop “aggressions and illegal measures against the freedom of worship and Muslims’ access” to their holy site.

The resolution also accuses Israel of “planting fake Jewish graves in Muslim cemeteries” and of “the continued conversion of many Islamic and Byzantine remains into the so-called Jewish ritual baths or into Jewish prayer places.”

It also blasts recently approved plans to build an egalitarian prayer service space near Robinson’s Arch.

This is yet another absurd UN decision,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday. “UNESCO ignores the unique historic connection of Judaism to the Temple Mount, where the two temples stood for a thousand years and to which every Jew in the world has prayed for thousands of years. The UN is rewriting a basic part of human history and has again proven that there is no low to which it will not stoop.”

Jews consider the complex, formerly the site of the two temples, to be Judaism’s holiest site. Muslims regard the compound — which today houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock — as the third-holiest site in Islam.

While Jewish visitors are allowed to enter the site, Jewish worship is banned under arrangements instituted by Israel when it captured the area from Jordan in the 1967 war.

The site has been the focal point of violence wracking Israel and the Palestinian territories — including dozens of Palestinian stabbing attacks on Israelis — over the past several months, amid claims by Palestinian leaders that Israel plans to change the status quo on the Temple Mount. Israel has vehemently denied those charges.

Other condemnations of Israel brought forth in the resolution include the Jewish state’s blockade on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip — which came after the Palestinian terrorist organization in 2007 ousted the PA from power in the enclave — as well as Israel’s control over the Tomb of the Patriarchs compound in Hebron and the Rachel’s Tomb compound in Bethlehem.

The UNESCO resolution, authorized by the executive board’s Programme and External Relations Commission, was submitted by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan.

The resolution was approved by 33 states, including France, Russia, Spain and Sweden. Seventeen countries abstained while six voted against including the United States, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Ghana and Turkmenistan were altogether absent from the vote at the 58-member board.

Last October, UNESCO dropped a Palestinian bid to declare the Western Wall a Muslim holy site amid widespread criticism but passed a resolution condemning ongoing Israeli archaeological excavations near the Temple Mount and elsewhere in the Old City."

about 9 hours ago

"Homebrewing is a hobby that many enjoy. For those who also enjoy gardening, it is a natural progression to grow one's own crops for brewing, known as "scratch brewing." While hops (Humulus lupulus) are a very popular ingredient for the home-brewer, many other brewing crops can be grown at home, including grains and flavorful herbs.

Getting Started

When growing hops, it is important to start small. Since the plants are perennial, your good gardening practice will carry over to next season. It may be helpful to experiment with a few varieties in your first year to get a sense of what will work well for your garden. In terms of selecting herbs for homebrewing, you can be creative! Many plants found in herb gardens can be incorporated into beer recipes.

For a fantastic list of hops varieties, herb suggestions and recipes, please refer to the wonderful book by Joe Fisher and Dennis Fisher--The Homebrewer's Garden (listed to the left). Here are some of the hops varities you will find.

Hop Varities
Humulus lupulus cultivar
Yield Harvest Time
'Brewer's Gold' High Midseason
'Bullion' High Late season
'Cascade' High Midseason
'Centennial' Moderate Midseason
'Chinook' High Midseason
'Eroica' High Midseason
'Fuggle' Low Early season
'Galena' High Midseason
'Goldings' Moderate Early to midseason
'Hallertauer' Moderate Early season
'Liberty' Moderate Midseason
'Mt. Hood' Moderate Midseason
'Northern Brewer' Moderate Midseason
'Nugget' High Midseason
'Perle' Moderate Early season
'Saazer' Low Early season
'Spalter' Moderate Early season
'Target' Moderate Late season
'Tettnanger' Low Early season
'Willamette' High Midseason

(from The Homebrewer's Garden--see the book (linked at the left) for more details about these varieties)

Growing Hops (1)

"Select an area with plenty of sun. Hops need at least 6 - 8 hours of direct sun a day, so the south facing side of your home or an exposed site is a good location. Hop vines (called bines) can grow to over 25 feet and weigh over 20 pounds, so vertical space for a trellis is important as well.

"Hops prefer well-aerated soil that is rich in nutrients and has good drainage. If you are going to plant several varieties, keep them well separated in your garden. Hop roots will spread quickly and take over the garden unless you separate them and trim the roots each season.

"Hops should be planted in the spring, late enough to avoid a frost. Fertilize liberally before planting. Plant your hops in a mound and aerate the ground by turning it over several times to aid drainage, enhance growth and prevent disease. Place the rhizomes about 4 inches deep, and make your mound of soil about a foot high to aid drainage. Place the root side of the rhizome down. Cover the mound with some straw or light mulch to inhibit the weeds.

"The hop bines grow vertically and require some kind of trellis. Your trellis could be some heavy rope or twine going from ground level to your roof, or a few poles securely mounted in the ground. If using rope, select rough twine-like rope so the bines can grab onto it. Keep in mind that the hop bines can be 25+ feet long and weigh 20+ pounds. The trellis should be strong and secure.

"Hops also enjoy lots of water and sunlight. In the dry climates or the heat of summer, they may need to be watered daily. Once the hops begins to grow, select the best bines and wrap them around your trellis to train them. You will need to train the hops for a few days, but eventually they will begin growing in a clockwise direction from east to west around your trellis. Train the best shoots and trim the rest off."

Selecting Herbs

There are many different herbs that can be used for homebrewing. The herb you use should be known to be edible, but with that caveat, variety is certainly the spice of life. For a wonderful list of brewing herbs, please refer to The Homebrewer's Garden. For some common herb garden plants, please visit our Herbal Delights Guide.

(1) Growing Hops in the Garden-How to Grow Beer Hops. (n.d.). From https://www.scribd.com/document/2515852/Growing-Hops-in-the-Garden-How-to-Grow-Beer-Hops"

about 9 hours ago

"PA daily: “The Israelis were not a ‘nation’ and are mostly of Khazar origin… and have nothing to do with the Children of Israel”
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 1, 2014
“The Israelis (today’s residents of the entity [i.e., Israel]) [all parentheses in source] were not a ‘nation,’ and are mostly of Khazar origin (not Arab and not Yemenite, and they have nothing to do with the Children of Israel, the extinct Yemenite Arab tribe); and therefore, they were never a people… We should not be ashamed to say openly that this land, geographically, historically and demographically speaking, is ours as Arab Palestinians, and it never belonged to any other nation. We should not be ashamed to inculcate this belief, since it has been scientifically and historically proven, despite the political and realistic understanding that, through the two-state solution, we will divide our homeland and country between us and them (or [have] it as one unit within a single democratic state)… It is they who are attempting to lie by calling the Palestinian [West] Bank by the Yemenite name of ‘Judea and Samaria,’ and by claiming that Yemenite ‘Jerusalem’ (present-day Al-Quds [the Arab name for Jerusalem]) is theirs!”"

PA daily: Israelis “have no historic connection to this land”
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 27, 2014
“The Jewish State did not actually exist in the long historic sense as the Kingdom of Judah, the location of which I do not know; and if it did exist, it was [only] for a limited period. The Jewish Khazars had a state, which was the accidental result of the encounter between two cultures – Byzantine Christianity and the Islamic Abbasids. After a consultation between their elders, the Khazar tribes decided to adopt a different religion, in order to be able to live peacefully with their Muslim and Christian neighbors – for had they adopted Islam, this would have meant war with Christianity, while had they converted to Christianity, it would have spelt war with Islam. Thus, the Khazar state was created out of a conflict between two religions, and it quickly collapsed, while the Khazar Jews scattered throughout Central Asia. The majority of the Jews of Israel are their descendants, and they have no historic connection to this land [Palestine/Israel].”

about 9 hours ago

from underground library in today's Damascus to Genizah, Vatican Library, and use of mss scraps in bindings (latter=Erik Kwakkel segment)
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The Vatican Secret Archives (Credit: Capitoline Museums, Rome)

Books History

The secret libraries of history

After news emerged about an underground reading room in Damascus, Fiona Macdonald discovers the places where writing has been hidden for centuries.

By Fiona Macdonald

19 August 2016

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Beneath the streets of a suburb of Damascus, rows of shelves hold books that have been rescued from bombed-out buildings. Over the past four years, during the siege of Darayya, volunteers have collected 14,000 books from shell-damaged homes. They are held in a location kept secret amid fears that it would be targeted by government and pro-Assad forces, and visitors have to dodge shells and bullets to reach the underground reading space.

It’s been called Syria’s secret library, and many view it as a vital resource. “In a sense the library gave me back my life,” one regular user, Abdulbaset Alahmar, told the BBC. “I would say that just like the body needs food, the soul needs books.”

Religious or political pressures have meant that books have been hidden throughout history – whether in secret caches or private collections. One of those is now known as ‘the Library Cave’.

The Library Cave

French sinologist Paul Pelliot in the Library Cave (Credit: The Musée Guimet)

French sinologist Paul Pelliot in the Library Cave at Dunhuang in 1908 reading the manuscripts (Credit: The Musée Guimet)

On the edge of the Gobi Desert in China, part of a network of cave shrines at Dunhuang called the Thousand Buddha Grottoes, it was sealed for almost 1000 years. In 1900, Taoist monk Wang Yuanlu – an unofficial guardian of the caves – discovered the hidden door that led to a chamber filled with manuscripts dating from the fourth to the 11th Centuries.

Provincial authorities showed little interest in the documents after Wang contacted them; but news of the cave spread, and Hungarian-born explorer Aurel Stein persuaded him to sell about 10,000 manuscripts. Delegations from France, Russia and Japan followed, and most of the ancient texts left the cave. According to The New Yorker, “By 1910, when the Chinese government ordered the remaining documents to be transferred to Beijing, only about a fifth of the original hoard remained.”

Despite that, many of the original manuscripts can now be seen: an initiative to digitise the collection was launched in 1994. The International Dunhuang Project – led by the British Library, with partners worldwide – means that, as The New Yorker says, “Armchair archive-divers can now examine the earliest complete star chart in the world, read a prayer written in Hebrew by a merchant on his way from Babylon to China, inspect a painting of a Christian saint in the guise of a bodhisattva, examine a contract drawn up for the sale of a slave girl to cover a silk trader’s debt, or page through a book on divination written in Turkic runes.”

No one knows why the cave was sealed: Stein argued that it was a way of storing manuscripts no longer used but too important to be thrown away, a kind of ‘sacred waste’, while French sinologist Paul Pelliot believed it happened in 1035, when the Xi Xia empire invaded Dunhuang. Chinese scholar Rong Xinjiang has suggested that the cave was closed off amid fears of an invasion by Islamic Karakhanids, which never occurred.

Whatever the reason they were originally hidden, the cave’s contents have altered history since they were revealed just over a century ago. One of the Dunhuang documents, the Diamond Sutra, is a key Buddhist sacred work: according to the British Library, the copy in the cave dates back to 868 and is “the world's earliest complete survival of a dated printed book”.

It’s a reminder that paper and printing did not originate in Europe. “Printing began as a form of prayer,” says The New Yorker, “the equivalent of turning a prayer wheel or slipping a note into the Western Wall in Jerusalem, but on an industrial scale.”

A wing and a prayer

The Vatican Secret Archives (Credit: Capitoline Museums, Rome)

The Vatican Secret Archives includes Pope Leo X’s 1521 decree excommunicating Martin Luther (Credit: Capitoline Museums, Rome)

The location of another hidden stash of religious texts has been known since it was founded in 1612 – yet that hasn’t stopped it being the subject of conspiracy theories. The Vatican Secret Archives feature papal correspondences going back more than 1000 years, and appeared in Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons, as a Harvard ‘symbologist’ battled the Illuminati. The rumoured contents of the collection include alien skulls, documentation of the bloodline of Jesus and a time machine called the Chronovisor, built by a Benedictine monk so that he could go back in time and film Jesus’ crucifixion.

In an attempt to dispel the myths, access has been opened up in recent years, and there was an exhibition of documents from the archives at the Capitoline Museums in Rome. Pope Leo XIII first allowed carefully vetted scholars to visit in 1881, and now many documents can be viewed by researchers – although browsing is prohibited. The word ‘secret’ in the name comes from the Latin ‘secretum’, which is closer to ‘private’; yet areas of the archives remain off-limits.

Scholars aren’t allowed to look at any papal papers since 1939, when the controversial wartime Pontiff Pius XII became Pope, and a section of the archives relating to the personal affairs of cardinals from 1922 onwards can’t be accessed.

Housed in a concrete bunker, part of a wing behind St Peter’s Basilica, the archives are protected by Swiss Guards and officers from the Vatican City’s own police force. They reinforce the power of the words held within. As well as correspondence between the Vatican and figures such as Mozart, Erasmus, Charlemagne, Voltaire and Adolf Hitler, there is King Henry VIII’s request to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon: when this was refused by Pope Clement VII, Henry divorced her and sparked Rome’s break with the Church of England. The archives also contain Pope Leo X’s 1521 decree excommunicating Martin Luther, a handwritten transcript of the trial against Galileo for heresy and a letter from Michelangelo complaining he hadn’t been paid for work on the Sistine Chapel.

Another brick in the wall

Solomon Schechter (Credit: Wikipedia)

Solomon Schechter recognised the significance of the manuscripts in the Cairo genizah (Credit: Wikipedia)

Not defended by armed guard but by centuries of forgetting, one collection in Old Cairo (Fustat), Egypt was left alone until a Romanian Jew recognised its significance. Jacob Saphir described the stash in an 1874 book – yet it wasn’t until 1896, when Scottish twin sisters Agnes Lewis and Margaret Gibson showed some of its manuscripts to fellow Cambridge University academic Solomon Schechter, that the trove became widely known.

Hidden in a wall of the Ben Ezra synagogue were almost 280,000 Jewish manuscript fragments: what has come to be called the Cairo Genizah. According to Jewish law, no writings containing the name of God can be thrown away: those that have fallen out of use are stored in an area of a synagogue or cemetery until they can be buried. The repository is known as a genizah, which comes from the Hebrew originally meaning ‘to hide away’, and later known as an ‘archive’.

For 1000 years, the Jewish community in Fustat deposited their texts in the sacred store. And the Cairo Genizah was left untouched. “Medieval Jews hardly wrote anything at all – whether personal letters or shopping lists – without referring to God,” says The New Yorker. As a result, “we have a frozen postbox of some two hundred and fifty thousand fragments composing an unparalleled archive of life in Egypt from the ninth to the nineteenth centuries… No other record as long or as full exists.”

Ben Outhwaite, the head of genizah research at Cambridge, told The New Yorker how important the Cairo Genizah collection is for scholars. “It is not hyperbole to talk about it as having rewritten what we knew of the Jews, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages.”

The fragments reveal that Jewish merchants collaborated with Christians and Muslims; that Jews were treated more tolerantly than previously assumed, and anti-Semitism was less common than thought. Their importance is increasingly being acknowledged. In 2013, the libraries of Oxford and Cambridge Universities joined together to raise funds to keep the collection intact – the first time they have worked together in this way.

At the time, David Abulafia, author of The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean, said: “The Cairo Genizah documents are like a searchlight, illuminating dark corners of the history of the Mediterranean and shedding a bright light on the social, economic and religious life of the Jews not just of medieval Egypt but of lands far away. There is nothing to compare with them as source for the history of the 10th to 12th Centuries, anywhere in Europe or the Islamic world.”

Between the lines

Erik Kwakkel discovered “hidden libraries” in book bindings (Credit: Erik Kwakkel)

Historian Erik Kwakkel discovered “hidden libraries” within Medieval book bindings (Credit: Erik Kwakkel)

In 2013, the Dutch Medieval book historian Erik Kwakkel described ‘a remarkable discovery’ made by students in a class he taught at Leiden University. “While students were systematically going through the binding remains in the library,” he says in a blog post titled A Hidden Medieval Archive Surfaces, they found “132 notes, letters and receipts from an unidentified court in the Rhine region, jotted on little slips of paper. They were hidden inside the binding of a book printed in 1577”.

Rather than being ‘sacred waste’ too important to throw away, the fragments were examples of rubbish recycled by bookbinders. “Recycling medieval written material was a frequent occurrence in the workshop of early-modern (as well as medieval) binders,” writes Kwakkel. “When a printed book from 1577 was to be fitted with its binding, the binder grabbed the 132 paper slips from his equivalent of a blue recycling bin and moulded them, likely wet, into cardboard boards.”

The process means that words never intended for posterity can still be read today. “The slips are first of all remarkable simply because such small written objects rarely survive from medieval society… There are few places where such objects can slumber undisturbed for centuries,” he says. “This is when their long journey to our modern period started, as stowaways hitchhiking on 16th Century printed matter.”

Including receipts, requests to servants and shopping lists, it’s a collection that’s rare for historians. “Messages like these bring us as close to real medieval society as you can get,” writes Kwakkel. “They are the medieval voices we normally don’t hear, that tell the story of what happened ‘on the ground’.”

And it’s a collection that could be far bigger than first thought. Using an X-ray technology created to look beneath the surface of paintings and detect earlier stages of composition, Kwakkel has developed a way to see through fragile book bindings. In October 2015, he began scanning early printed books in Leiden University Library.

“The new technique is amazing in that it shows us fragments – medieval text – that we could otherwise never see because they are hidden behind a layer of parchment or paper,” wrote Kwakkel in a blog post about his Hidden Library project. While the technology needs to be improved, it hints at a process that could reveal a secret library within a library. “We might be able to access a hidden medieval ‘library’ if we were able to gain access to the thousands of manuscript fragments hidden in bindings.”"

about 10 hours ago

original source:
THE WAILING WALL AND AL BURAQ
Authors

Charles D. Matthews

First published: October 1932Full publication history
DOI: 10.1111/j.1478-1913.1932.tb03757.xView/save citation




"THE WAILING WALL AND AL BURAQ
IS THE "WAILING WALL" IN JERUSALEM THE "WALL OF AL-BURAQ" OF MOSLEM TRADITION?


The Kauthal Ma'arabeh in Jerusalem, the "Western Wall" of the Temple area, known to the ubiquitous American tourist as the "Wailing Wall," presents several of the many facets of that diamond religion which both enlightens and causes much sorrow for mankind — undying devotion to an heroic past, and fervent trust in divine succor, contrasted with the dark ray of bitter fanaticism. These fifty-odd feet of the southwestern wall of the sacred temples of Solomon, Zerubbabel, and Herod have become more important in international relations than was once the Great Wall of China. Behind it sit entrenched (by long possession and vested interest) the Moslems of Palestine and the Near East. They are wary night and day lest the Jews gain one unprecedented privilege. Little clashes there have spread into general rioting and bloodshed, as in the summer of 1929 and before again! One of the most powerful empires in history fights a small war to end the civil strife, and then appoints an august commission to investigate and adjust the vexed religious and racial differences.

Would it not remove one of the most dangerous points of friction in Palestine today if it could only be proved satisfactorily to Moslems that the "Wailing Wall" is not at all the correct part of the Haram enclosure which they should hold because of connection with the Prophet Mohammed? If only another portion of the generously expansive walls of the ancient temple area were shown to be the real "Wall of al-Buraq" of Mohammedan tradition?

For to the Jew and to the Moslem this historic spot has become a symbol jealously revered. To the Jew — even to the great majority who spend their time in modern Palestine in quite other activities than "wailing" on Sabbath eves too near the Moslem holy door of the Prophet and al-Buraq in the courtyard of the House of Abu Sa'ud — the wall is a symbol of a vanished glory which he hopes may live anew. To the Moslem, also, it is a symbol of his racial and religious security in a land where his fathers have dwelt for thirteen hundred years. For he sees this security now crumbling before a Jewish occupation and rehabilitation project, supported by contributions from practically every community of the world where there are Jews (and where not!) and countenanced by the powerful Allied nations who won the World War.

So the Moslem, disgruntled by the non-fulfillment of Allied military proclamations of coming peace and independence (as in 1918 in Palestine and Syria), and disturbed by the growing Jewish numbers of population (with 100,000 increase in ten years!), quite naturally argues with himself as follows: "If the Jews are given the liberty of their wishes outside the wall of the Haram ash-Shareef, by Allah! they will soon extend their desires inside the holy place and seek to rebuild a temple on the spot whence the Prophet ascended to Heaven!" (That the sacred area had really been sold to the Jews was, as is widely known, one of the propaganda cries in the summer of 1929.)

To be frank in the beginning, the writer of this article, who has both Jewish and Moslem friends in Palestine, and who has profound reverence for both Jews and Arabs because of their contributions to our Western civilization, is not in favor of a nationalistic Zionism in Palestine. He hopes, then, the reader will do two things: that he will observe well the qualifying word "nationalistic," and that he will see here assurance that this is not a mere propaganda article for a Jewish Palestine. Hence the arguments may be more acceptable and convincing, because they are free from bias.

For the writer honestly believes, on basis of extended study, that the Moslems venerate today the wrong portion of the Haram wall as the "Wall of al-Buraq" and as containing the "Gate of the Prophet." This seems inescapable from the descriptions of many of the earliest and most reliable Moslem historians themselves!

As indicated above, Moslem jealousy of the Kauthzal Ma'arabeh arises from its connection with a venerable and most transcendent tradition of the Prophet. That tradition is the celebrated, story of the "Night-Journey," which is based on verse one of Sura 17 of the Koran: "say the praise of Him, who transported His Servant by night from the sacred Temple (of Mecca) to the farthest temple (of Jerusalem)!" The "furthest mosque" is al-Masjid al-Aqsa, a term by which is meant the entire sacred area; but which, after the supposed construction of a mosque by the great caliph Omar (on the southern edge of the area) and its reconstruction by the Caliph Abd al-Malik (685-705 A.D.), has been restricted to denomination of this one mosque. It need hardly be pointed out that al-Aqsa is a real mosque, while the Dome of the Rock (built also by Abd al-Malik, and by Omar) is not a mosque at all, though "the faithful" pray there, both above ground and in the cave beneath the conjectured former rock of sacrifice. The beautiful Dome has "stolen the show," in world interest at least, from the mosque itself!

The "Night Journey" story is well known. But perhaps it may be very briefly repeated here for those who have not handy a copy of Washington Irving's "Life of Mahomet," to read one of the best accounts in English. On a certain night, after Mohammed had prayed the evening prayer with his "Companions" in Mecca, Gabriel appeared to him with a wondrous steed, 'al-Buraq ("Lightning!"), smaller than a mule but larger than a donkey. The Prophet was directed by his angelic visitor to mount. He did so; and al-Buraq, speeding with such strides that her hoofs fell as far as the eye could see, took him to Jerusalem. On the way, the accompanying Gabriel bade Mohammed stop and pray in such sacred places as Medina (then Yathrib), Hebron, and Bethlehem, On the arrival in Jerusalem, Mohammed stopped at the temple enclosure where the prophets had stopped before him, tied up al-Buraq in that gate, and was directed by Gabriel in devotions at the holy place. All the Prophets of the past were assembled to greet Mohammed. He was then carried through the seven heavens into the presence of Allah himself, who communicated the ordinance of the five daily prayers (an ancient Jewish custom, of course!). Then he was carried back to Mecca, before the memorable night had brightened into dawn. And he quieted the scoffers by giving instances of salutations with travellers on the way who recognized his voice, and by predicting the arrival of a certain Mecca-bound caravan, even to the load and color of the leading camel!

To conceive rightly of the grip of this story on the imaginations of the orthodox Moslems, we should have to doff our rationalistic Occidental thought caps and put on their mental tarboosh or turban! At the same time, it must be realized there are many educated and cultured Moslems in many lands who regard the tradition as no more literal than the highly diverting story of Jack and the Bean Stalk. Further, the tradition has more than once been rationalized even by Mohammedan commentators on the Koran. A noted Egyptian scholar only recently published an interesting interpretation. He said: "The' word Isra, 'night-journey,' is used in several places in the Qur'an for the stealthy escape of prophets from persecution (for of course the Qur'an retells many of the Biblical stories!); and therefore, the word used in connection with the Prophet Mohammed, himself means his historic flight in 622 from the hostile Meccans to the arms of the friendly people of Yathrib, afterward called Medinat an-Nabi, 'City of the Prophet,' or simply Medina."

If such an interpretation could gain universal acceptance among Moslems, the "Wailing Wall" problem would immediately vanish. But this will not be the case. The book mentioned above was proscribed! So we must endeavor to show the Moslems they are bestowing special veneration on the wrong part of the Haram wall.

Let us recall the plan of the Herodian temple area, with its various entrances on the southwest and the south, as spoken of by Josephus and others. We may aid our imaginations by referring to such splendid reconstructions as that portrayed by De Vogüé in his "Le Temple de Jérusalem," etc., Paris, 1864. Now it is an amazing fact that despite the vicissitudes suffered by Jerusalem from Roman, Persian, Arab, Crusader and Turk since the magnificent but short-lived temple of Herod, at least traces of these temple-area gateways remain to our day! Entering from the southwest were three gates, two of them with high-raised causeways or bridges over the Tyropoeon ("Cheesemakers") Valley, and a third with a lower causeway. The northernmost was just below the middle of the western wall, now being marked by Wilson's Arch, very near the present Bab as-Silsila, "Gate of the Chain." The southernmost was near the southwest corner of the present walls, now being indicated by Robinson's Arch, with however, no further remaining traces of a doorway except a rather large window directly above, because the wall has since been built up solidly, and the southern minaret of the Haram is near here. The third southwestern gate, which is the important point here, was beneath the present Bab al-Maghariba ("Gate of the Moors"). This was most probably the second of the "suburban gates" mentioned by "Josephus. Because it was below the other Southwestern entrances, it became useless, as the filling up of the Tyropoeon Valley raised the level of the ground along the wall, and was walled up when the Haram walls were later rebuilt.

This old entrance was discovered by the American physician Barclay, and it is often called by his name. He tells of it in his antiquated but still interesting book "The City of the Great King." It is also thoroughly described by G. Rosen, once Prussian consul in Palestine in the little book, "Das Haram von Jerusalem." Being a lower level entrance, this passage was continued beneath the pavement of the Haram floor, with steps for egress inside the enclosure.

It is this former gate that is the mainspring of Moslem contention. It is called by them the "Gate the Prophet," or the "Gate of al-Buraq." They are exceedingly jealous of prowlers here, and have plastered over the immense solid, stone, closing but revealing the form of the ancient passage. Here, they say, the Prophet alighted and entered the Haram on his memorable Night Journey. Inside the wall, where there is a small "Mosque of al-Buraq," there is in one of the thick walls of the gateway an iron ring — which the privileged few are shown as the actual place where al-Buraq was tethered! Hence, the entire portion of the wall here is sacred to al-Buraq and the Prophet including of course that spot a few yards to the north where, with only occasional interruptions, the Jews have worshiped since renewal of permission by the Roman emperors, soon after the terrible destruction in 70 A. D..

In the southern wall there were also three entrances the "Double Gate," which I believe is the true "Gate of the Prophet" of tradition, now walled up under the mosque al-Aqsa; and, further east, the "Triple Gate," about the middle of the southern wall; and finally, the ancient "Single Gate" near the southeastern corner. All these old gates are clearly outlined, except that the "Double Gate" is more than half covered by the more modern structures which adjoin the Aqsa on the south.

Now it is true that a fairly old tradition points out this "Barclay’s Gate" underneath the "Gate of the Moors" as the "Gate of the Prophet" or of "al-Buraq." Some Moslem writers say the Prophet and Gabriel entered the Haram "through a gate through which the sun and the moon incline" — a phrase which would seem to mean a Western or southwestern gate. This expression is found, for instance, in the little religious guide-book for Moslems, "Arousing Souls to Pilgrimage to Jerusalem's Holy Walls," by Burhan ad-Din ibn al-Firkah, of Damascus, who died in 1329 A.D. A copy of this, belonging to the Landberg Collection of Arabic manuscripts at Yale University, has just been edited by the writer as a doctoral dissertation.1

But on the other hand, testimony of most of the standard Arab historians is in favor of the southern, "Double Gate" as the gate of the Prophet and al-Buraq. There is not, in fact, an entirely unambiguous reference to Barclay's gate as the holy spot of tradition until as late as Mujir ad-Din, 1496 A. D., whose book is almost entirely of borrowed material, and which is now being edited anew by Dr. Mayer, of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.2

To go back to the earliest writers Ibn al Fakih (903 A.D.) says the place of the tying up of the steed was "in the angle of the southern minaret" (which as mentioned above was at the Southeastern corner of the Haram area) Ibn Abd Rabbih (913 A.D.) says it was "under the corner of the masjid, (the mosque)," which here probably means al-Aqsa, although it could mean the corner of the entire temple area. Now these very early historians prove nothing for the present wall and gate of al-Buraq and the Prophet. For the Double Gate is just as near the angle of the southern, minaret (the southwestern corner of the Haram) as the Gate of the Moors and the ancient gate beneath! And the Double Gate is under the masjid al-Aqsa, and fairly near one of its corners, while the Gate of the Moors is quite detached from it. (The Mosque of the Moors or Northwest Africans adjacent to the Gate of the Moors is of course much more recent, and has no place in the discussion.)

The evidence of Muqaddasi (985 A. D.), a citizen of Jerusalem itself, is unquestionably for the southern location. Muqaddasi speaks of the "Two gates of the Prophet," Babai an-Nabi, in such a way as to make the identification with the Double Gate quite positive. The descriptions of Nasir-i-Khusrau, a Persian historian who visited Jerusalem in 1047 A. D., is quite arresting. He says (as quoted by the English scholar Le Strange, in his very excellent book, "Palestine Under the Moslems," p. 178) "One such as these (gates) is called Bab an-Nabi (or the Gate of the Prophet) — peace and blessing upon him ! — which opens toward the Qiblah point — that is, toward the south (toward Mecca). ... The Prophet ... on the night of his ascent into heaven passed into the Noble Sanctuary through this passageway, for the gateway opens on the road from Makkah." What could be clearer? And from the hand of a Jerusalemite and reputable historian!

Both Muqaddasi and Nasir, as is pointed out by Le Strange (p. 181), called the present gate of the Prophet by the name of the "Hittah Gates" or "Gate of Remission of Sins," despite the fact that an earthquake occurred between the time of the two writers, changing the structure and nomenclature. It was perhaps during and after the disturbed times of the Crusades, when Jerusalem suffered assault and counter assault and several times exchanged masters, who carried on both destructive and building operations while in possession, that so much change in names of the various gates and other features of the Haram took place. The result was a veritable puzzle of identification. But Sir C. Wilson, the greatest authority on the subject, and Le Strange after him (p. 182), are led by their careful study to the most important conclusion that the gates "of the Prophet or of al-Buraq" as described by Ibn Fakih, Ibn Abd Rabbih, and Muqaddasi, are the same as that so clearly pictured by Nasir-i-Khusrau — the Double Gate in the southern wall.

The passageway to this gate, although closed from the outside, is still open underneath the mosque al-Aqsa. There is a splendid drawing of it in De Vogüé, plate IV, reproduced by Le Strange on page 182. Ibn Batutah, a very famous Arab traveller, wrote in 1355 as if this entrance were still in use, stating that, the imam entered there to lead the services in the holy places. What could be more natural than for the imam to use the same door believed to have been used by the Prophet?

The weight then of the evidence from Arab historians themselves, and of studies of Western scholars, is pronouncedly for the Double Gate on the south side of the Haram as the original Gate of the Prophet and al-Buraq, in the famous traditions. This makes the western portion of the southern wall, and not the southern portion of the western wall (adjoining so nearly the Place of Wailing), the proper place for the Moslems to guard with jealousy and regard with veneration. It may be suggested as probable that the shift from the southern gate to a western or southwestern came after the southern doorways had been closed up (after Ibn Batutah?) and the southern entrance ways therefore were no longer used.3


New Haven, Conn.
CHARLES D. MATTHEWS.

Editorial note by Answering Islam:

One needs to carefully distinguish between these two questions:
(1) Which gate was historically considered to be the door through which Muhammad entered?
(2) Did Muhammad enter any of these doors? In other words, was the event as such historical?

This present article investigates only question (1) which does not imply a positive answer to question (2).
Various aspects of this second question are discussed in the articles listed in our dictionary entry on Muhammad's Night Journey.

1 Ibn al-Firkah, however, in some other Statements leaves much room for uncertainty, giving possible justification for regarding his choice also as the southern entrance, the ancient Double Gate, as the historic entrance used by the Prophet and Gabriel.

2 Even Mujir ad-Din's reference is merely incidental, as he is speaking of another subject, Further he failed to include from his main source (Kamal ad-Din as-Suyuti 1471) a statement that the Gate of the Inspector (Bab an-Nazir) near the northern end of the western wall, was also known as the Gate of al-Buraq or of the Prophet. As-Suyuti's reference, added to the fact that the Gate of the Funerals (Bab al-Jana'iz, just south of the Golden Gate) was also known as the Gate of al-Buraq, portrays the very general uncertainty among Moslem authorities themselves.

3 Some of the arguments given above are to be found also in a "Memorandum" prepared in 1930 by Dr. Cyrus Adler, president of Dropsie College, Philadelphia, for presentation to the Special Commission of the League of Nations appointed to settle the "Wailing Wall" problem. I saw the very interesting Memorandum (not prepared for general publication) only after completing this article. It contains, in addition, the history of Jewish devotion to the wall as a relic of the ancient temples, from the first centuries of our era and, from the destruction of the temple, indeed, in the year 70. The present writer has a brief sketch of the "Wall of al-Buraq" problem in an article on the Journal of Biblical Literature, for June, 1932.

The Muslim World, vol. 22: 1932, pp. 331-339. "

about 10 hours ago

"Home > Israel News
The Day the UN Downgraded Judaism’s Holiest Site to a Stable

In new resolution, UNESCO ignores Jewish links to Temple Mount and backs Islamic tradition that Western Wall was 'hitching post' for Mohammed’s steed.
Ariel David Apr 20, 2016 2:08 PM
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People walk near the Dome of the Rock on the compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, October 26, 2015.Reuters

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If you thought the Western Wall was the main visible remnant of the ancient Jewish Temple and the closest spot where Jews could pray at their holiest site, the United Nations has news for you.

According to a resolution passed last week by UNESCO, the UN’s cultural heritage agency, the Western Wall is first and foremost the revered hitching post for a mythological horse and a holy landmark of Islam.

The resolution, submitted by a group of Arab countries to UNESCO’s Executive Council, went beyond previous decisions by the agency condemning Israel’s handling of holy sites in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

In October, UNESCO passed a resolution accusing Israel of restricting Muslim worship in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and committing other violations. But at the last moment a paragraph that lay claim to the Western Wall as an integral part of the compound and a holy site for Muslims was struck down.
Jerusalem's Temple Mount and Western Wall on May 5, 2015.Gil Cohen-Magen

That victory was largely nullified by the latest document, which refers to the Kotel area chiefly as Al-Buraq Plaza – using Western Wall Plaza as a second reference, enclosed in quotation marks.

The name Buraq refers to a mythological winged horse, which, according to hadith literature, carried the Muslim prophet Mohammed on his Night Journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, and then on to Heaven.

While Buraq’s story dates back to the eighth century, almost at the dawn of Islam, the precise identification of the Western Wall as the spot where Mohammed tethered his mighty steed while he prayed on the Temple Mount is a much more recent tradition, dating to the late Ottoman period.

By the 20th century, this identification had been consolidated and Al-Buraq Road became the name of the tight passageway that ran along the Western Wall during the Jordanian occupation of East Jerusalem, which ended when Israel took control of the entire city in the 1967 Six-Day War.

UNESCO’s choice of the pre-1967 designation is a subtle sign that the UN considers the Western Wall part of the Al-Aqsa compound and is a nod to Jordan, the former occupying power, which still retains control of the Muslim holy sites in the area above the Western Wall through the Waqf religious trust.

By naming the area after Mohammed’s steed, the UN also signals it accepts the primacy of Islamic tradition and religious needs over any other faith, belief or even historical fact – since no serious academic would dispute that the Western Wall is part of the retaining wall built by Herod during his reconstruction of the Temple.

The resolution condemns various Israeli activities around the Western Wall Plaza, including the recently-approved construction of an egalitarian Jewish prayer space on the southern side of the plaza, plans to build an elevator that would help disabled people reach the Kotel in a wheelchair, and even “the installment of an umbrella” at the Mughrabi Gate entrance, the only access to the Temple Mount open to non-Muslims.

The resolution also ignores the Jewish link to the rest of the holy site, which archaeologists widely agree houses the remains of two Jewish temples, the second of which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E.

The document refers to the compound only as “Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al Sharif” (The Noble Sanctuary) and describes it solely as “a Muslim Holy Site of worship.”

Under the current status quo, Jews and non-Muslims are permitted to visit the Temple Mount but not pray there. Despite Israel’s continued claims of support for this arrangement, Muslim and Palestinian fears of Jewish encroachment on the compound have been one of the causes behind the latest round of Mideast violence.

The UNESCO resolution appears to back these fears, condemning “Israeli aggressions and illegal measures against the freedom of worship and Muslims’ access to their Holy Site.” Among various complaints, it accuses Israel of “planting Jewish fake graves” in the area around the Temple Mount and removing or destroying archaeological remains dating to the Islamic period. This despite the fact that a number of Islamic remains have been uncovered or preserved by Israeli archaeologists in recent years, including the palaces built on the south side of the Temple Mount by the Umayyad dynasty.

Israel Finkelstein, a top archaeologist at Tel Aviv University, dismissed the resolution as a “political propaganda manifesto.”

“UNESCO should have praised Israel for its effective protection, preservation and promotion of heritage sites in Jerusalem under dire circumstances,” he said in an email to Haaretz, adding that the agency “should have raised its voice against the most brutal damage of cultural heritage in the city in recent years – the bulldozing by the Waqf of important archaeological debris from the Temple Mount.”

Finkelstein was referring to the 9,000 tons of soil that the Muslim religious trust dumped in a nearby valley in 1999-2000 after conducting works, which were uncoordinated with Israel, on the southeast corner of the Temple Mount. The sediments have since been collected by Israeli archaeologists and are being studied as part of the so-called “Sifting Project.” Earlier this week, it was reported that a 12-year-old Israeli girl discovered an ancient Egyptian amulet dating back more than 3,200 years while volunteering with her family on the project.

The Israeli government has slammed UNESCO’s resolution, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling it “another absurd UN decision.”

“UNESCO ignores the unique historic connection of Judaism to the Temple Mount, where the two temples stood for a thousand years and to which every Jew in the world has prayed for thousands of years,” he said in a statement. “The UN is rewriting a basic part of human history and has again proven that there is no low to which it will not stoop.”

Asked to comment on the resolution, a UNESCO spokeswoman pointed to a statement by Director General Irina Bokova, who said that: “Jerusalem is a Holy Land of the three monotheistic religions, a place of dialogue for all Jewish, Christian and Muslim people, nothing should be undertaken to alter its integrity and authenticity.”

“Member states have a responsibility to UNESCO’s mandate, to move forward in ways that promote dialogue, tolerance and peace,” Bokova said.

The Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday that in response to a letter by Israeli opposition lawmaker Yair Lapid, Bokova distanced herself and the organization she leads from the resolution, which was approved with the votes of 33 countries, including France, Spain, Sweden and Russia.

“The decision that the Temple Mount is a site that is holy only to Muslims is a political decision of UNESCO’s member states that is not acceptable to me,” Bokova was quoted as writing to Lapid"

about 10 hours ago

"Ivy still grows on the front of Langston Hughes' home in Harlem. There aren't many houses like it left in New York City. Real estate agents estimate it's worth over $3 million.

And that's before anyone talks about the fact that one of America's great writers -- a hero of the Harlem Renaissance -- lived there for much of the 1950s and 60s, until he passed away. His typerwriter is still on a shelf.

Pressure to sell "Hughes House" is escalating. The current owner listed it for a mere $1 million a few years ago, but it didn't sell. For now, the home sits empty. The owner doesn't live there. No one does. Paint is chipping off the front steps.

Renee Watson thinks it's a tragedy. That's why she started an Indiegogo campaign to raise $150,000 to rent the home and turn it into a cultural center honoring Hughes.

"The more Harlem changes, the more I'm motivated to do something," says Watson, a writer who lives nearby, and has watched gentrification flood in. A Whole Foods is set to open in the area early next year. Realtors predict prices will skyrocket even further.

"We -- the community -- must hold on to the space," says Watson. "I feel a sense of urgency."

So far, the initiative to save Hughes House has raised just over $25,000.

Related: Playboy Mansion sold for $100 million

'Nothing is sacred' in New York City

Watson remembers memorizing Hughes' poem "I, too, sing America" in 3rd grade in Portland, Oregon. As a young black artist, she felt that Hughes was holding up a mirror to her soul.

Just over a decade ago, Watson moved to New York City. One of her first pilgrimages was to East Harlem to find Hughes' house at 20 E. 127th Street. She was shocked to find it eerily quiet. There was no museum, no cultural center, just a small plaque that's hard to read from the sidewalk.

When the New York Times dubbed East Harlem the last "good deal" in Manhattan earlier this year, Watson knew she had to act. She reached out to the owner and pleaded.
langston hughes typewriter
Langston Hughes' typewriter

"If someone made [the owner] an offer, she would definitely sell it, but like me, she doesn't want it to become condos or a coffee shop," says Watson. (The owner declined to speak with CNNMoney. Real estate records show she has held the deed to the home since 1999).

Watson sent out the "bat signal" to other authors in her network to ask for donations and support. Over 250 people have given money already.

Young adult author Jason Reynolds signed up immediately. He remembers when the house was for sale a few years ago. He never wants to see that again.

"I kept thinking, this is just like New York, nothing is sacred," Reynolds told CNNMoney.

Related: 'I like money': Meet the new women of Wall St.

Can they raise the money in time?

Reynolds is one of many authors, especially in the African-American community, who dream of doing a reading there. The plan is to turn the main parlor into a space for events and use the upstairs rooms as places for artists to work or for classes.

The current owner has agreed to hold off on selling to see how the project unfolds.

"Hughes is deeply influential and important not only to me, but many writers of color," says author Jacqueline Woodson, who is also involved in the initiative. Her book "Brown Girl Dreaming" won the National Book Award. It opens with a Hughes poem.
langston hughes aurthors
Authors and artists sit on the steps of Langston Hughes' home. They are part of the campaign to turn it into an artist collective.

Related: Broadway hit 'Hamilton' has good life advice
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HOME AFFORDABILITY BY HOME AFFORDABILITY BY

The great fear is that the funds to rent and restore the home won't be raised in time. The neighborhood is gentrifying...fast. There are signs of money everywhere: Old brownstone homes are being gutted or knocked down completely to make way for modern apartment buildings.

Marsha, a long-time resident of the block, told CNNMoney that middle class African-Americans began to move back into East Harlem in the early 2000s. But "we didn't get the amenities."

Hughes himself once wrote, "Misery is when you heard on the radio that the neighborhood you live in is a slum but you always thought it was home."

Now white families are increasingly moving in and so are big chain stores and restaurants. In 2013, actor Neil Patrick Harris paid $3.6 million for a property not far from Hughes House.

"Once the Starbucks came, you knew the neighborhood had completely changed," says realtor Jen Lee of BLU Realty Group. "Everybody's expecting property values to go shooting up again in Harlem."
CNNMoney (New York) First published August 19, 2016: 8:32 AM ET"

about 11 hours ago

"BBC Decides Pro-Israel Story of No Interest to Readers
August 30, 2016 6:28 am 0 comments
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Hadar Sela
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Syria opposition official visits Sieff Hospital in Safed Israel. Photo: Sieff Hospital

A Syria opposition official visits Sieff Hospital in Safed Israel. Photo: Sieff Hospital.

Eighteen months have passed since the BBC last reported on the topic of the sick and wounded Syrians receiving medical care in Israel. Therefore, its audiences may not be aware of the fact that the provision of that humanitarian aid continues.

One of the patients arriving at the border earlier this year presented a particular challenge to Israeli medical teams.

The girl arrived at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa in recent weeks with very serious wounds that she received after finding herself caught in a firefight between rival militias […]

Some two weeks after she arrived at the hospital, after her wounds had nearly healed, Rambam doctors discovered the young girl had cancer.

They refused to release her, insisting that they could not let her cancer go untreated. […]

And so a search began for a bone marrow donor, a search that led to a relative living in a Middle Eastern country designated an “enemy state” under Israeli law, a designation that prevented the relative from entering Israel.

It was at this point that Israel’s security services stepped in, mounting a secret operation in the enemy country that helped smuggle the relative out of that country and into Israel.”

The treatment was successful, and this week the little girl was discharged from hospital.

Rambam Health Care Campus has treated 140 Syrian civilians, men, women and children over the past three years. However, the departure, yesterday, of a six-year-old girl, “B,” was especially emotional for everyone. Wearing a white dress, white shoes, and a little silver crown, “B” was the guest of honor at a farewell party held by an entire department, where Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Druze stood together with tears in their eyes, surrounding her with love and concern for the future that awaits her. […]

After all the parting messages, some of which were painstakingly read in Arabic by Jewish doctors and nurses, the mother asked to read her own thank you wishes. In a small voice, she said “I would lie if I said that I expected the kind of humanity I discovered here. I am grateful for your care and sensitivity; may God protect you. And we will always remember what you did for us.”

To date, BBC audiences have not been told this unusual story."

about 23 hours ago

" KRISTEN MOTT | STAFF REPORTER
kmott@cjn.org Aug 3, 2016 (14)

Joy Karega, an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition at Oberlin College accused of making anti-Semitic posts and comments online, has been suspended from teaching at the school and placed on paid leave while an investigation into her actions continues.

The Oberlin College board of trustees asked the school to launch an internal investigation into Karega in March, and that process is ongoing, according to an Aug. 3 statement from the private liberal arts college, about 40 miles southwest of Cleveland.

“In March, in consultation with President Marvin Krislov, the trustees of Oberlin College asked the administration and faculty to ‘challenge the assertion that there is any justification for these repugnant postings,’” the statement said. “The college initiated its faculty governance process to review Dr. Karega’s professional fitness in light of these postings.

“The faculty governance process that began thereafter is ongoing, and the Oberlin administration will continue to respect this process as it plays out. Until that process is complete, Dr. Karega has been placed on paid leave and will not teach at Oberlin.”

Karega, whose full name is Joilynn Karega-Mason, could not be reached for comment. But she posted this on her Facebook page the morning of Aug. 3:

“I will continue to receive letters and notes of support here in my messages inbox and via email. I will read them. Trolls and those of you who have been surveiling my Facebook account since March, keep on keepin on, but I have NO COMMENT. I am more than blessed and grateful to have people adequately prepared, equipped, and more knowledgeable than me working on my behalf.”

In a joint statement from the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, the Anti-Defamation League Cleveland Region, AJC Cleveland and the Cleveland Hillel Foundation issued Aug. 3, the organizations stated: “We appreciate and respect Oberlin College’s decision to remove professor Joy Karega from teaching and student advising duties while the administrative review process continues. This interim decision sends an important message about the college’s commitment to seeing that academic freedom is not abused to the detriment of the students.

“The Jewish Federation of Cleveland, the Cleveland Hillel Foundation, AJC Cleveland and the Anti-Defamation League Cleveland region look forward to working with the college in the coming semester to foster a campus climate of openness, acceptance, tolerance and mutual respect where students can learn and thrive.”

Those same organizations met with Krislov and several members of his senior staff March 3 to discuss Karega and the posts in question.

In a March 5 statement, Clyde McGregor, chair of the Oberlin College board of trustees, condemned Karega’s comments, saying, “We deplore all forms of bigotry. They have no place at Oberlin.”

On Aug. 2, the Algemeiner, an online news portal for Jewish and Israel news, reported that an Oberlin alumni group had questioned why the administration hadn’t yet taken action against Karega for her Facebook posts.

In these since-deleted posts on her personal Facebook page, Karega shared comments, blog posts and videos that some have deemed anti-Semitic.

One week after the Charlie Hebdo shooting on Jan.7, 2015, for instance, Karega shared an image of an ISIS terrorist pulling off a mask resembling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The terrorist had a tattoo on his forearm of the Star of David with the words “JSIL Israel.” The text on the photo read, “France wants to free Palestine? Time for a false flag …”

Karega’s post that accompanied the image read in part, “Folks who turn off the indoctrinated media and do their homework know where Charlie Hebdo receives its support and backing. And for a prime example of these workings? Try generating a similar kind of satire attacking Zionism. I dare you.

“And I didn’t say attacking Jews. I said attacking Zionism. But let some tell it, an attack on Zionism is an attack on Jews. It’s anti-Semitic, so they say. Total nonsense.”

On Nov. 17, 2015, Karega wrote on Facebook, “It’s troubling that in this day and age, when there is all this access to information, most of the public doesn’t know who and what ISIS really is. I promise you, ISIS is not a jihadist, Islamic terrorist organization. It’s a CIA and Mossad operation, and there’s too much information out here for the general public not to know this.”

And on March 7, 2015, Karega shared a blog post and video from a website called “Muslims for 9/11 Truth.” In her own post, Karega wrote that she’s not a fan of Louis Farrakhan, leader of the religious movement Nation of Islam, but that “politically, Farrakhan is truth-telling in this video.”

In the video she references, Farrakhan states, “Thanks to the exemplary work of scholars like Victor Thorn and Christopher Bollyn it is now becoming apparent that there were many Israeli and Zionist Jews in key roles in the 9/11 attack.”

Oberlin alumni were outraged that Karega continued to teach at the college, as was Anita Gray, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, though Gray noted she supports Karega’s rights to free speech under the First Amendment.

On Aug. 3, Gray said by email, “It is my understanding that Oberlin College has removed Professor Karega from all teaching and advising duties while their process of review continues. I think it is entirely appropriate until the matter is finished, which it is not quite yet. The ADL will be conducting campus anti-bias programming this fall.”

Mark Jaffee, a longtime Oberlin resident, 1967 Oberlin College alumnus and religious director of Agudath B’nai Israel Synagogue in Lorain, said in an email, “I agree with the college that even though this process is taking a lot longer than most people would like, the results will affect more than just this one professor; it will set a protocol of the limits of academic freedom that will affect professors for years to come.”

“A faculty committee met last spring and will make its findings known this fall,” he continued. “The issues that they had to consider were that professor Karega’s postings were inflammatory and blatantly anti-Semitic, but the principle of academic freedom is that a faculty member can make false, obnoxious and abhorrent statements outside of their professional area, but professionally one is judged on the quality of one’s research and teaching.”

Staff Reporter Carlo Wolff contributed to this story.

Joy Karega

Oberlin College associate professor Joy Karega
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Oberlin Oberin College Joy Karega Joy Karega-mason Marvin Krislov Oberlin Board Of Trustees"

about 23 hours ago

"

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With Dogs, It’s What You Say — and How You Say It

By JAMES GORMANAUG. 29, 2016
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Dogs that were trained to enter an M.R.I. machine for the research. Credit Enik Kubinyi

Who’s a good dog?

Well, that depends on whom you’re asking, of course. But new research suggests that the next time you look at your pup, whether Maltese or mastiff, you might want to choose your words carefully.

“Both what we say and how we say it matters to dogs,” said Attila Andics, a research fellow at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest.
Photo
A dog waiting for its brain activity to be measured in a magnetic resonance imaging machine for research reported in the journal Science. Credit Enik Kubinyi

Dr. Andics, who studies language and behavior in dogs and humans, along with Adam Miklosi and several other colleagues, reported in a paper to be published in this week’s issue of the journal Science that different parts of dogs’ brains respond to the meaning of a word, and to how the word is said, much as human brains do.

As with people’s brains, parts of dogs’ left hemisphere react to meaning and parts of the right hemisphere to intonation — the emotional content of a sound. And, perhaps most interesting to dog owners, only a word of praise said in a positive tone really made the reward system of a dog’s brain light up.

The experiment itself was something of an achievement. Dr. Andics and his colleagues trained dogs to enter a magnetic resonance imaging machine and lie in a harness while the machine recorded their brain activity.
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A trainer spoke words in Hungarian — common words of praise used by dog owners like “good boy,” “super” and “well done.” The trainer also tried neutral words like “however” and “nevertheless.” Both the praise words and neutral words were offered in positive and neutral tones.
Photo
The research found that different parts of dogs’ brains respond to the meaning of a word and to how the word is said, much as human brains do. Credit Vilja and Vanda Molnár

The positive words spoken in a positive tone prompted strong activity in the brain’s reward centers. All the other conditions resulted in significantly less action, and all at the same level.

In other words, “good boy” said in a neutral tone and “however” said in a positive or neutral tone all got the same response.
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What does it all mean? For dog owners, Dr. Andics said, the findings mean that the dogs are paying attention to meaning, and that you should, too.

That doesn’t mean a dog won’t wag its tail and look happy when you say, “You stinky mess” in a happy voice. But the dog is looking at your body language and your eyes, and perhaps starting to infer that “stinky mess” is a word of praise.
Photo
Anna Gabor speaking to a dog as part of the research. Credit Vilja and Vanda Molnár

In terms of evolution of language, the results suggest that the capacity to process meaning and emotion in different parts of the brain and tie them together is not uniquely human. This ability had already evolved in non-primates long before humans began to talk."

Aug 29, 16

very badly written; content largely just cribs Abu El Haj, with some name-dropping of other theorists along the way
Some descriptions of UNESCO controveries, but very thin on actual substance (not to mention a real thesis).


" Maja Gori

Research

First Online:
09 April 2013

DOI: 10.1007/s11759-013-9222-7

Cite this article as:
Gori, M. Arch (2013) 9: 213. doi:10.1007/s11759-013-9222-7

2 Citations 352 Views

Abstract

Archaeology plays a fundamental role in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The practice of archaeology in Israel is embedded in the national identity construction discourse and has severe repercussions on domestic politics. From archaeological remains it is demanded to give proof of precedence and legitimate claims over land. The relation between nationalism and archaeology is a topic that became increasingly popular in scholarly works of the past 20 years. The full UNESCO membership of Palestine is projecting the Israeli–Palestinian conflict in a globalized dimension, but at the same time the heritage of humanity’s politics reinforces the nation-states concept and could pave the way to new political scenarios."

Aug 29, 16

"
Abkhazian Cuisine Links Black Sea to the Mediterranean

The borders of Abkhazian cuisine, like the political borders of that conflicted region, are hard to define. Lea Ocheri and Bella Chanan try to pin it down.
Ronit Vered Aug 28, 2016 5:37 AM
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Majwanai – a stew of lamb, sour green plums and herbs – which Georgian flavors with Abkhazian cornmeal porridge.Dan Peretz

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Lunchtime at the Shota Restaurant in the Western Galilee. Lea Ocheri and her daughter Limor remove dozens of black-and-white family photos from a plastic sleeve. “We have to scan them, or at least put them in an album,” mumbles Lea, “and we don’t have time to do it.” The old photos show the women of the family, black-haired and wearing elegant dresses and tailored coats, alongside the men, on the backdrop of the promenade of Sukhumi, their home town and the capital of the Abkhazia region.

In other photos, family members gaze seriously into the camera while fans of water spurt from fountains in the ancient port city on the shores of the Black Sea. “The photographer always stood there, at the fountains in the city square, and once a year we would have our pictures taken,” says Ocheri, who immigrated to Israel with her family at the age of 10.

“It was a big city, ethnically mixed and liberal. As opposed to other cities in Georgia, there was a strong Russian influence, and we spoke Russian at home. Sukhumi was a financial and intellectual center for the surrounding villages – Abkhazia is considered a rural area and anyone who moved to the capital improved his quality of life. But anyone who wanted a real higher education went to Moscow or Leningrad. The Jewish community of Sukhumi also differed from other Jewish communities in Georgia.”

Lea’s father, Shliko Kricheli was a merchant who, like his forefathers, had a shop in the central marketplace of Sukhumi. “Most of the Jews in the city were merchants. According to the family legend, the members of the Kricheli family wandered in search of sources of income until in the early 19th century they settled in the port city, which had extensive connections with Turkey.” Anyone who was born and grew up in the city remembers the beautiful bridges over the Black Sea, the merchant ships that anchored at the port, the fragrance of the oleander blossoms, the avenues of palm trees and the many languages that could be heard in the square of the cosmopolitan city.

“Everything was destroyed in the war,” says Lea, referring to the war that took place in Abkhazia in 1992, shortly after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Abkhazia, which Stalin annexed to Georgia in the 1930s, demanded its independence in the late 1990s and paid a heavy price in death and destruction. The Jews of Sukhumi, who like other Israelis have been traveling to Georgia often in recent years, almost never visit Abkhazia, whose independence is recognized by only four countries and which is accessible only via Russia.

Red mullets replace anchovies
Red mullet coated with cornmeal, fried in deep oil and served with spicy herbsDan Peretz

In 2014 Lea Ocheri and Bella Chanan opened Shota, a Georgian restaurant, in Kibbutz Shomrat. Since then the restaurant has become a center for joyful feasts, led by the pair of charismatic friends, as well as excellent Georgian cuisine.

At the beginning of this year Lea’s mother passed away – the bundle of family photos is part of her estate – and perhaps because of their longing, this month Bella and Lea are offering a unique Abkhazian menu in addition to the regular one.

Like the controversial political and national borders, the borders of Abkhazian cuisine are hard to define. A multi-
ethnic community – especially one that has experienced a rich and complex history – absorbs various cultural influences, and the nuances that differentiate between Georgian and Abkhazian cuisines are subtle.

“Abkhazian cuisine has more Russian influence,” says Bella, while rolling up thin pancakes and filling them with fish eggs. In the division of work between the two friends and partners, Bella is in charge of the food and Lea is the hostess. “Abkhazia is a hilly country that was inhabited by shepherds and cowherds, so that the basic diet included meat and dairy products, with the addition of Black Sea fish and significant Greek-Turkish influences.”

Ajika, a spicy red pepper paste used as a basis for various sauces and dishes, is one of the foods most identified with Abkhazian cuisine. A lightly smoked bean stew is another typical dish. (I once ate a similar stew in a Black Sea restaurant: The beans, a divine species that is unfamiliar in Israel, were cooked in butter and tomato sauce and the stew was worthy of being served to VIPs along with caviar and truffles.) In addition, there are various dishes made with cornmeal. Although corn, or maize, reached the Black Sea region only in the 16th and 17th centuries, it became an integral part of the cuisine of the communities living along its shores. Corn bread and cornmeal porridges – made of coarse cornmeal and combined with milk, butter or cheese – are also among the basics of Abkhazian cuisine.
Majwanai – a stew of lamb, sour green plums and herbs – which Georgian flavors with Abkhazian cornmeal porridge.Dan Peretz

The line connecting the Black Sea and the Mediterranean – two multicultural regions that have been the sites of war and conflict – is in evidence on Shota’s Abkhazian menu in the red mullet coated with cornmeal, fried in deep oil and served with spicy herbs. The Mediterranean red mullet replaces the hamsie, the famous and delicious Black Sea anchovy, 
or sardines.

Another wonderful dish is majwanai – a stew of lamb, sour green plums and herbs – which combines the familiar Georgian flavors with Abkhazian cornmeal porridge. My favorite dish is a sorrel soup. Sorrel soups are common in various cuisines in the large geographical area of the former Soviet Union, but the Georgian-Abkhazian version is particularly wonderful: full of herbs, with a rich nutlike texture that adds richness and complexity, and with a spicy-tart taste.

Sorrel soup
Shota's sorrel soupDan Peretz

Ingredients (serves six):

4 tbsp. olive oil

50 gm. butter

1 medium leek

(the white part only)

1 white onion

1 1/2 liters water

or chicken broth

a bunch of cilantro

a bunch of parsley

a bunch of spearmint

1 package (250 gm.) sorrel

3 tbsp. tamarind paste

(available in spice shops)

3 crushed garlic cloves

1/2 hot green pepper

(optional) finely chopped

250 gm. ground walnuts

salt

Cut the leek into thin strips and chop the onion into small cubes. Heat the oil and butter in a pot, add the leek and the onion and fry until golden. Add the chicken broth or water and bring to a boil. Chop the herbs and the sorrel coarsely.

Add the other ingredients except for the walnuts, bring to a boil and lower the flame. Cook the soup on a medium flame for about 30 minutes.

Blend the soup with a hand blender, add the ground walnuts and cook for another 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Serve the soup cold or hot, with sour cream or hard-boiled eggs. "

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